(From February 1)
I don't know enough about either my uncle Ricky or his wife Marina to tell real versions of their stories. Which are probably as rich and human and tragic as Annajane's. But I can't empathize with everyone, and I'm only going to try for Annajane (for Nanna it comes naturally, thank god).
Uncle Ricky: ten years younger than my mother. Did a lot of drugs. Tried to be an r & b keyboard player for many years, finally and fairly comfortably on cruise ships. Got kicked out of those gigs after being arrested in Puerto Rico like three years ago; might have been set up, or might have just told Nanna that. Came home in distress and began driving a taxi; one of his high school friends owns the only cab company in Weatherwood. Pays Nanna trivial "rent."
Key attribute: really, really, dumb.
Marina: his brand-new, Trinidadian home-health-care-aide green-card-seeking wife. They met when he drove her from the train to a client in Weatherwood. They got married in December and they're both living in Nanna's apartment. For now Marina's not working, just getting her papers in order. She has at least one child back in Trinidad, who's being raised by relatives.
Key attribute: tries really, really hard.
Key fact about the situation: Ricky thinks Nanna should be grateful that he's brought home someone who can take care of the apartment and of her, and he's angry that she's not. He tells Nanna this, and he's gone out of his way to tell me this, in an unpleasantly self-congratulatory way.
Second key fact about the situation: however Nanna may feel about it, Marina is actually being very helpful.