9. Home for the Holidays: 5
Unable to stand my home life, I spent the weekend with Erestor. Or at least I tried to. We went out to a movie last night only to get back to dad's house and discover Elrohir had invited himself over. He and dad were attempting an apple-cherry pie from the new recipe book. As soon as we walked into the kitchen to see what was going on (I'm sure they conspired to lure us in with the smell of pie), Elrohir went all happy and announced that, since we were all together, we should have a family television night. This of course appealed to Arwen, who is into all that dumb family stuff, and dad, who complains that he never sees us enough when we are around but then makes no effort to visit when we aren't.
So Erestor and I were forced into watching two hours of bad sitcoms on cable. We tried ignoring the telly and my strange family for a while, but that only resulted in dad making disapproving noises and turning the lights on really bright and Elrohir saying, in a parental-type voice, "Elladan, this is supposed to be family night." They all looked very self-righteous in a Readers Digest sort of way. Arwen was seated on the floor while Elrohir, cuddled up with dad, plaited her hair.
After a while Erestor got up, saying he was going to the bathroom, but he never came back. I tried the same thing but dad was too smart to fall for it. It was an hour and a half of made-for-telly crappiness before Erestor and I were reunited. And we actually had about eight hours alone together (a new record, I'm sure) before we were interrupted by dad pretending he needed to talk to Erestor about something that probably didn't exist. At that point we gave up on quality time and Erestor simply drove me home.
At home, Glorfindel was sitting on the sofa wearing a bathrobe and eating noodles. He looked rather on-edge. Aralindë was bringing him tea on a tray. I asked what he did to warrant this sort of royal treatment, and Aralindë explained that he cut his hand on the serrated metal part of the Glad Cling-Wrap box while trying to cover a bowl of lima beans, and he needed special care. While helping him drink the tea she accidentally spilled some down his bathrobe. He yelled at her, she started crying, and right then I felt a headache coming on.
Even though it was only half two, I already knew that the rest of the day just wasn't going to be worth staying up for. So I went to sleep, and woke up a while later. The first thing I saw was Elrohir sitting in the middle of the floor playing Spider Solitaire on my computer, wearing a pink tee-shirt that said "Playful Pussy". I went back to sleep. I woke up again some time later to Elrohir poking me and saying something about a groundhog seeing its shadow. I didn't want to even think about what that meant, so I went back to sleep. This has officially been the worst Sunday I can remember in a long time.
Relative level of insanity: 84%
Cause of insanity: Elrohir 60%, other family 25%, Glorfindel 15%
When I woke up this morning, it was to the noise of Aralindë whining that she didn't want to go to school and Glorfindel demanding that she give him back his car keys. As a result, I didn't feel inclined toward getting out of bed. So I didn't, except once to cross the room to the bucket-and-pulley setup and have Elrohir pass me up some Pop Tarts and lemonade, and then twice to go to the biff. It worked out alright. I didn't really miss the outside world at all. I may try the same thing tomorrow on an ongoing experimental basis.
Relative level of insanity: 75%
Cause of insanity: Glorfindel 80%, inescapable bodily functions 20%
I had to get out of bed today. Elrohir decided he wanted to join me, and he kept squirming and wiggling and clinging to my arm and getting his hands tangled in my hair. It just wasn't worth the hassle. So I went downstairs hoping to spend the day on the sofa watching television, but Glorfindel was seated at the coffee table trying to work out something on graph paper. I asked him what he was doing and he said that, given local mill rates and assessed land values we were paying approximately 13.8% too much for our rent. I think he misses being an accountant. I asked if he did, but he just looked down at his calculations and muttered something about T3 forms.
Then I asked why he quit his job. He said the idea came to him one day when he was sitting in the lunch room. Lindir asked him how long he'd been an accountant, and he had to work it out on his adding machine. Over 6800 years! It was then he realised he didn't even want to be an accountant in the first place and he'd wasted most of his life stuck behind graph paper, adding machines and, in recent years, spreadsheet software. He has scars on his fingers from centuries of paper cuts.
I decided that it might be best to simply leave the house altogether and go for a walk, so I walked all the way downtown for lunch. By the time I got back, Aralindë was home from school, Elrohir was out of bed, and Glorfindel was on some long rant about clothes. He has made the stunning observation that male fashion is boring; all we ever wear is either jeans and tee-shirts or pleated trousers and button-up shirts, occasionally with suit jackets, while girls get all sorts of fun things like long skirts, short skirts, tight jeans, stretchy shirts, blouses, dresses, and so forth, in a multitude of colours.
I think he might be right on this. Looking around, it was easy to notice that Aralindë's plaid skirt over fishnets with a tight sparkly shirt and jean jacket was far more interesting that Glorfindel's grey rayon trousers and red button-up shirt or my black jeans with black tee-shirt. Actually Elrohir might have been more interesting since he was sitting on the sofa wearing blue underoos and a race-car blanket, but that doesn't really count.
Aralindë asked Glorfindel what sort of clothes he'd rather have, and he got out an old National Geographic and pointed to a photograph of Elves on the streets of Valmar. To me it looked like they were wearing pyjamas, but I didn't say anything. Aralindë said she could make something like that, and Glorfindel eyed her suspiciously until she explained that the one class in which she actually did well was home economics. They're going to the fabric shop tomorrow to get materials for Glorfindel's Vanyarin clothes. Elrohir asked Aralindë if she could make him a monkey costume. She said she'd think about it.
Relative level of insanity: 51%
Cause of insanity: Elrohir 35%, cat pee on jacket 65%
I had to get out of bed before eight today. Elrohir kept attacking me. I really think I need to get him a scratching post or something.
We all ended up going to the fabric shop. Elrohir wanted to go to try and get fabric for his monkey costume and I decided to go because there was nothing better to do, so we piled into Glorfindel's car and went to collect Aralindë from school. Then we headed to Festive Fabric.
The shop was full of grandmotherly types buying patches for quilts and young mothers hauling around yelling children. Aralindë and Glorfindel immediately wandered off to look at patterns, leaving Elrohir and me alone and confused in the fleece section. Elrohir found some polar fleece with neon monkeys on it that he thought would be good for his monkey costume. I tried to explain that a monkey costume would probably be better just made out of plain brown fleece since monkeys are plain brown and not printed with neon images of themselves, but he didn't seem to understand that.
It took Glorfindel two hours to pick out a pattern he liked, find suitable fabric, and pay for it. I'm sure he would have taken longer, but the shop was closing. In that time Elrohir managed to knock over a table of flannelette, lose his wallet in a button bin, get a separating zipper caught in his hair, and unroll an entire bolt of vinyl into a pile on the floor. The shop manager eventually had to make him stand outside. He never did get fabric for his monkey costume, though he did steal a scrap out of the dustbin to make a vest for the iguana.
Relative level of insanity: 58%
Cause of insanity: Elrohir 100%
When Elrohir and I were younger and had to share a room on occasion, he would frequently keep me awake all night talking or playing stupid little games. He seems to have reverted back to that level. He was up for a good hour last night getting me to help him list off all the edible plants of the world, starting off with the easy ones like carrots and apples and moving along to strange things like sphagnum moss, which I would argue isn't edible at all. I tried to pretend to be asleep more than once but he kept going. At one point he was silent for a good twenty minutes and I though he was finished, but then he quickly stood up, poked me, and said in a triumphant voice, "Hey Elladan! Dillweed!"
Everything just went downhill from there. I got little sleep, and in the morning Glorfindel started worrying about his mum again while simultaneously complaining that the Miruvor in our fridge tastes suspiciously like McCain peach punch concentrate mixed with cooking brandy and Incrediberry Kool-Aid. Then Elrohir kept walking in on me while I was trying to have a bath and then leaving the door open. Really, the only good thing that happened all day was that Aralindë stayed late after school in the home ec lab to work on Glorfindel's new outfit, so I didn't have to put up with her until seven. But then when she came home she started a fight by accusing Glorfindel of stealing her Nivea cream. The fighting I can handle- it's the apology smooching that really makes me want to kick something.
Relative level of insanity: 90%
Cause of Insanity: Elrohir 51%, Glorfindel & Aralindë 49%
Elrohir disappeared today. He was gone when I got up and wasn't around all day. But then he randomly appeared again in time for supper, so I suppose there's really nothing to worry about.
But without Elrohir to distract me all day, I was forced to pay more attention than usual to Glorfindel, and he was being crazy. The cut on his hand from the Glad Cling Wrap box had gone nasty since he tried to disinfect it with tonic water, so he was leaning over the sink attempting to perform some sort of fixing operation with one of Aralindë's sewing pins and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I instinctively knew this wasn't the brightest thing to be doing, and I offered to drive him to the walk-in mediclinic, but he refused. This is what they did back during the First World War, he said.
I was certain that Glorfindel hadn't actually been in the war, so I asked him about it. He pshawed me and said that he'd seen action at Angband back in the day. Still suspicious, I rang Erestor. He confirmed that Glorfindel had indeed seen action at Angband, but he had only seen it, not participated. Glorfindel's war experience, according to Erestor, involved showing up with a government convoy to take inventory, getting sick at the sights and smells, meeting Maedhros, and throwing up on his boot. I asked Erestor if this was reliable information. Erestor said yes, he heard it from Gil-galad who heard it from Círdan who heard it from Finrod who heard it from Turgon who heard it from Fingon who was right there when it happened.
When I asked Glorfindel he denied everything. He was still standing at the sink, poking himself with the pin and cursing Glad boxes everywhere. I can't really imagine him sicking up on a General, but then I also can't imagine him actually doing anything useful in a war. So I'm not sure what to believe.
Relative level of Insanity: 50%
Cause of Insanity: Glorfindel 40%, Erestor 40%, Elrohir 20%
No sign of Elrohir all of today either. I wonder what he's up to? He could be out partying it up with Aragorn's friends again, hurling himself off the flatbed of a fast-moving half-ton onto a pile of flaming two-by-fours propped up against a wheelie bin for all I know. He did that a few years ago and had Halbarad make a videotape.
I tried to spend more time with Glorfindel, since Aralindë was at the school working on his Vanya costume. He was eating a box of brandy beans and watching reruns of That Second Age Show on channel eight. I attempted a conversation and suggest we do something, even go to the park and feed the ducks, but he kept shushing me. So I gave up and rang Erestor. He wasn't home. Dad was home, but he was busy rearranging the living room furniture with Arwen. Nobody in this stupid city ever wants to do anything!
Relative level of insanity: 76%
Cause of insanity: Everybody who isn't me 100%
I talked to grandpa for a while today. Very simple things amuse grandpa. He's content to just put a bean in a pot and grow a begonia. In fact, he told me all about his new begonias, which are just starting to sprout. I let him talk for twenty minutes. I had nothing better to do.
Next I talked to grandma. She asked me how my love life was going. I said it was excellent. She didn't seem to catch the sarcasm. Then she said she sent Elrohir and me Melevellar gifts in the post that should be arriving any day now. I sincerely hope it's regular little chocolate hearts and candies, and not something that I will have to hide.
I also rang Erestor, but he had gone to the Legion with dad to drink. I wonder if he realises that he's actually supposed to make an effort to talk to me sometimes?
Relative level of insanity: 60%
Cause of insanity: Overwhelming boredom 70%, Erestor 30%
Glorfindel insisted I come shopping with him today. We went to a girly underthings shop. Glorfindel explained that he needed to find a Melevellar gift for Aralindë and required the expert advice of Erestor and me. Really, he couldn't have picked worse shopping companions. I don't know the first thing about girl panties and Erestor just has lamentable fashion tastes all around. He still wears shoes with tassels. Also he was upset at having been dragged out of work, so was even less help than usual. But Glorfindel never does anything that makes sense or seems reasonable. I ought to have learned by now not to question or even think about his eccentricities. I'll just have to start smiling and nodding.
The first thing the shop assistant (her nametag read "Annis") asked was what we were looking for. Glorfindel didn't really know. Something sexy for his girlfriend, he said. Annis said she could recommend a few things, and asked what size. Glorfindel didn't know that either. He said smallish and made a vaguely Aralindë-shaped gesture with his hands. Then he picked up a lacy red bra with feathery bits and said he liked it. Annis told him that bras come in a whole variety of sizes and really should be picked out to fit properly by the person who is going to wear them. Glorfindel frowned and asked why they didn't just have any that came in small, medium, and large. At about this point Erestor had wandered away to look at the bath robes. I wanted to join him but Glorfindel was standing firmly in the way.
I could tell that Annis was getting a bit frustrated explaining to Glorfindel that bras aren't something one can really buy on a whim- they have to be tried on so they fit right. Glorfindel said, "Well it's not like she's going to be wearing it for very long so it doesn't have to fit perfectly!" I think this was the wrong thing to say, since Annis seemed to be a bit of a feminist. She narrowed her eyes and said that bras are meant to be comfortable, not to be gawked at by sexist males. Glorfindel rubbed his forehead, tried to calm down, and quietly explained that his girlfriend was in high school, and what bra size to high school girls usually buy?
I think this was an even worse thing to say, because Annis gave him a look that made it clear she thought him a dangerous perverted paedophile who should be locked away forever (which is about halfway right). She snapped, "I don't think we have anything for you here," and turned her back. We left after that and went to the sex shop a few blocks away. Glorfindel purchased a pink vinyl bra with zippers in odd places, size small. It looks about right to me, but I don't think Aralindë's bosom is quite that large. She may have to fill it out with Kleenex.
Relative level of insanity: 50%
Cause of insanity: Girly underthings 100%
Elrohir is being odd lately. I mean, apart from the usual oddness like showing up in my bed unexpectedly and wearing a home-made tee-shirt that says "Elrohir's School of Awesomeness", which comes to be part of everyday life when dealing with Elrohir. This time it's odd as in never being home during daylight hours. I'm starting to worry, and I just know he's up to something. And Glorfindel's up to something too. Now that Aralindë's finished his Vanya costume, he's taken it upon himself to teach her the goings-on of his religion. It's complicated and involves too many words that I can't pronounce, so I've stopped paying attention. But just the way he talks about it makes me suspect that the Vanyar are secretly controlling the world, possibly through a mass marketing scheme of blonde hair dyes that don't work.
I was going to ring dad and tell him that Elrohir's been disappearing on a regular basis, but then I stopped myself when I couldn't figure out what "regular basis" meant. Does five days in a row count? How many days make up a "regular basis" anyhow?
Relative level of insanity: 40%
Cause of insanity: Perplexing schemes 70%, peculiar idioms 30%
It all started off with a strange telephone conversation with Ardlor today. He claimed to be downtown working on a new movie. I've not talked to him in months, so he must've been really bored on the set to think of contacting me. But still I had nothing better to do so I went down to see him. He was sitting on a lawn chair on the pavement beside a trailer that had his name on the door, though I almost didn't recognise him because his hair was blonde. A girl with a long pigtail was handing him a Fanta.
To paraphrase his very long explanation, some wacko director from Mirkwood is dong a made-for-telly movie about Ingwë, and Ardlor is starring. It's a disaster so far. The second AD was fired this morning, and there simply aren't enough blonde extras around to fill the entire palace set with adoring onlookers. Just as he said that, an ornery-looking Elf came over and started ranting that he had just had a fight with someone named Gilistui over wardrobe issues and now they didn't have a Fëanor.
The ornery one turned out to be Maethor, the director, which I learned when he turned to me with manic eyes and said, "You! You can act! You're my new Fëanor!" I calmly said that no, I can't act, and no, I'm not his new Fëanor, but then I wished I hadn't said that because it set him off on some sort of wild rage. He screamed that I'd been harassing him for the past week about getting a bit part and there's no way he'd let me escape now that he was desperate. The whole scene really made no sense whatsoever until I saw Elrohir walk up a few feet away, wearing an orange traffic control vest and informing passing motorists that they can't come in this way.
I can't accurately say what exactly happened next, but somehow, after all the artistic temperamental screaming ended, I wound up in the orange vest and Elrohir got his name stuck on a trailer door. I think I'm a locations PA, even though I'm not sure what that is. I hope it only involves telling cars they can't drive where I'm standing. Right now I'm not really coherent enough to manage anything more than that.
Relative level of insanity: too frazzled to tell
Cause of Insanity: Maethor (in particular his eyes and voice) 100%
I had to get up at 6 this morning to be on location by 7-30. And I don't even want to work on this stupid movie! I went to ask Glorfindel if he was interested in taking my place, but he wasn't in his usual spot on the sofa. The telly was on without him though, which was strange.
The entire day was spent walking around outside in the rain, wearing that stupid orange vest, while Elrohir sat in his trailer and went over the script. He didn't even have to do anything, since they don't start shooting his scenes until tomorrow! And I didn't get to see anyone famous while standing around getting wet and waving at cars. Not even Ardlor. He was inside on the set all day being dry and comfortable in his Ingwë costume.
The rain stopped around eight, which was conveniently just as we were wrapping for the day. By the time I got home it was quarter past nine, and I was just about to flop over onto the sofa and die of exhaustion when Elrohir bounced in, followed by Maethor. They were doing some sort of impromptu Fëanor audition by way of watching the old tape of Elrohir's performance as Maeglin in our high school "Fall of Gondolin" production. Maethor sat just where I was going to flop, asked me to get him a drink, and proceeded to watch Elrohir's crappy video with unbridled adoration. "Brilliant!" he said. "Fantastic!" Elrohir grinned stupidly. Maethor was about to get on his mobile to ring the script supervisor to tell her to increase Fëanor's role when Glorfindel came downstairs.
Glorfindel was wearing his gold satin pyjama shorts and a matching shirt, unbuttoned. Maethor took one look at his golden splendour and squealed, "You! You're perfect!" Glorfindel warily asked what for. Maethor explained the whole stupid Ingwë movie with great enthusiasm. Glorfindel looked disappointed and said he didn't want anything to do with it. I think he was hoping for a role in a porno. Maethor looked crushed. The only actual Vanya in town snubbed his crummy movie-of-the-week. Which is probably for the best, since I was reading over a bit of Elrohir's script and it's even worse than that movie about Aegnor somebody was making here last year. I'd be embarrassed to be associated with it if I were Glorfindel. Actually, I'm embarrassed that I'm associated with it, and I'm only a locations PA.
After some pleading, Glorfindel reluctantly agreed to go down to the location tomorrow and have a look around to make sure things are sufficiently Vanyarish. I am suddenly worried that this movie will turn out to be more horrible than it already is. With Glorfindel in charge of quality control, there's bound to be far more female nudity and hedonistic drug use than is really necessary for a story about a revered religious figure.
Relative level of insanity: too tired to tell
Cause of insanity: probably this dumb Ingwë movie.
February 14th (Melevellar)
The telly was on again this morning when I got up. I think it might be haunted.
Glorfindel never showed up on set today, and Maethor was furious. Someone who isn't me should try to explain to him that Glorfindel is highly unreliable and will only do things that appeal to him, and today being Melevellar, it's a given that he's going to spend the day being intimate with Aralindë. So they had to shoot some big party scene without his expertise. I didn't see any of it, but Elrohir claims he got to yell. I was standing out in the alley in a puddle of muddy water at the time, up to my knees, holding up an extension cord so that it didn't get wet and electrocute me.
Needless to say I was in no mood for Melevellar festivities when we got home, but Elrohir insisted on making me supper with candles and wine and everything. He really needs a girlfriend; I am a poor substitute, and not very enthusiastic. But still he made a whole supper with chicken from a tin, instant mashed potatoes, frozen veggies, and (for some reason) Nutella. We ate surrounded by tea lights, and drank bad wine from Liquor World. Elrohir told me all about how much he loves being Fëanor. His favourite part is the costume with the fake Silmarils. His second favourite part is being able to yell a lot and get paid for it.
After supper we opened the presents from Grandma. It was just as I feared. She sent Elrohir a tub of hot pink liquid latex (for "fun sexy paint-on clothing!" as the package proclaims), a set of glittery blue handcuffs, and a chocolate bum on a stick. He squealed in delight and immediately ran off to write a thank-you email. I received a red lace thong, cherry-flavoured lube, and a bag of macaroni shaped like unmentionable body parts. I couldn't think of anything decent to say in a thank-you email, so I told Elrohir to sign his email from both of us. I did email Erestor though, and told him to come by some time soon for consumer product testing.
Relative level of insanity: 40%
Cause of insanity: shamelessly hypersexual grandmother 100%
The telly was on this morning too, and I know Glorfindel didn't turn it on because he didn't even come home last night. This is getting strange.
Elrohir wore my new thong to work today, explaining that he needed small underwear to avoid panty lines in his Fëanor kit. I sincerely hope it turns into one of those articles of clothing he never gives back.
Glorfindel actually showed up on set today, though, while I was busy crawling around behind some dirty old crates looking for an electrical outlet. Aralindë was with him. She wanted a job as an extra. Maethor took one look at her blonde hair and asked if she had any acting experience. She said yes, she was Yavanna in her school Fiommereth concert. Maethor must've though that was good enough, because he gave her a role as "adoring girl #2". She has one line, which she rehearsed with Ardlor while Glorfindel was wandering around inspecting the sets.
Shooting actually wrapped early today, at four, and call isn't until noon tomorrow. To celebrate having more than 12 hours off, Elrohir and I rented a movie, The Ring. I thought it was going to be about Sauron, but it was much, much worse. Elrohir laughed at me for being scared, but then when the telly turned itself on while we were sitting on the sofa half an hour after the movie ended he screamed louder than I did.
Glorfindel came running downstairs to see what all the screaming was about (he thought we were being murdered), saw the television, and said, "Oh, sorry, I forgot I had this thing on timer." He had it set to turn itself on at midnight! I asked why, but he only mumbled something incoherent and went back to bed. I was just about to tell myself that Glorfindel is even stranger than Elrohir when Elrohir asked me if I though mermaids are afraid of crabs the way that people are afraid of spiders. At that I reconsidered and confirmed that no, Elrohir is definitely stranger.
Relative level of insanity: I don't even care any more.
Maethor has convinced Glorfindel to be in the movie, playing the role of Finarfin. He has no lines and no action. Really, all he has to do is wear some fancy outfit and stand beside Fingolfin in the Darkening of Valinor scene and look scared and worried. That shouldn't be too difficult, because Glorfindel is terrified of the camera. He naturally looks scared and worried.
Maethor has also asked Glorfindel to find him some songs for the extras to sing in the festival scene. So Glorfindel and Elrohir were in the trailer most of the day coming up with traditional Vanyarin folk songs, some of which date all the way back to early this afternoon. At first I was a bit worried that Maethor was taking advantage of Glorfindel, but now I'm convinced that he'll be getting what he deserves.
The 3rd AD fired me from the movie today. She said I'm too much of a distraction because I look exactly like Elrohir and keep putting the wardrobe and makeup people into a panic when they see me walking around out of costume ten minutes before a scene is supposed to roll. Not that I mind being fired. Actually, I'm sort of glad. I didn't want to work on the movie in the first place, really. And now I can spend more time doing things that I want to do. Like checking my email.
I found one from Legolas, from yesterday:
From: *Legolas* <email@example.com>
Subject: On our way!!! :)
We're leaving lorien today in boats! That's
soooo kewl! I don't go out in boats much
because my dad is afraid of themand we don't
have any boats at home. I had a plastic dingy
once but it got a hole in it form the driveway
and my dad couldn't even fix it with a dingy
fixing kit from the gas station. It was for
going in the pool only though with plastic
paddles. I tried to use as a tent at the beach
once but it fell on me and made the dog afraid
and the dog did step on my foot with it's long
claws! It was a black dog and very heavy.
These are motor boats and Boromir says the
motors are very loud. They are supposed to be
fore fishing and Boromir says they probably
smell like fish and have spiders in them. But
that's okay because Im going in a boat with
Gimli and he does eat spiders sometimes, I saw
him once! It was a small brown spider that
was small and with a white spot and had little
Aragorn says he will phone you when the ring is
Reading Legolas' emails always makes me wonder if he really thinks in sentences like that or if it just accidentally comes out this way when he's writing? He sort of talks like that too, so I'm curious.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.