I tried my hand at some fiction to describe my life earlier on. With the graphic zines, I figured this was a redundant enterprise and focused on expressing things in drawn form, but kept the writing and decided I would share it here. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and GUILTY.
When Budgie turned 13, the Spyders moved on her birthday yet again. This time they moved to another state Budgie had never been before. She cried when her parents told here where they were going and asked, “Why are we moving to the wilderness?” Peep was sick of moving and cried from leaving her friends YET AGAIN. She hid out in one's friend's attic only to get dragged out. Budgie knew running away with no money would not work. She asked one of her friend's mothers if she could move into their house, but "No" was the answer. How come no one wanted her and why was she always stuck with the Spyders? Budgie's birthday was blown off, as the Spyders moved from a giant hip urban coastal city to a blue collar Midwestern town in fly-over country. Her father would get a huge promotion.
Budgie's old classmates would never know poverty and would grow up to buy 700,000 dollar houses. They would become lawyers, engineers and doctors. Her classmates in her new town, had known each other since kindergarten and weren't open to new comers. They would all grow up by the age of 21 to marry high school sweethearts and be grandmothers by 40. The Spiders became bigger fish in a smaller town. Budgie's father appeared in the newspaper every time he got an award at work. The Spyders were in heaven.
Budgie and Mimi were dropped off at their first public school. For some weeks before moving into their 3000 square feet suburban home with 5 bedrooms in the wealthiest neighborhood in town, the Spyders had to wait for the house to be vacated. Mr. Spyder rented a cheap trailer on the outskirts of town, where the other kids went to the downtown inner city schools and drove them to their new junior high school in the wealthier suburban district. John Jr. started high school. The kids in Peep's new trailer park neighborhood were friendlier, and loved to play PAC-Man at the local convenience store.
Budgie sadly was dressed in very butch clothing. Mom had chosen a plaid flannel shirt, and Wrangler jeans that were way too hot for the early September day. Peep knew embarrassing worn patches on her pant's thighs would start up and she would be yelled at again. She missed her old school uniform already. Mimi wore her new Jordache jeans and Morris the Cat T-shirt. She had a Mork and Mindy "rainbow" belt around her waist.
Budgie was scared to death about the new junior high whose very name "Highland" brought out giggling among it's small group of stoners, yet was five times her old Catholic school's size. Budge was not ready to be grossed out after getting her school schedule and doing battle with her locker. She walked into a room full of giant vats of formaldehyde which filled her new science classroom with fumes that made her head feel like a balloon ready to pop. The odor felt like it came from a horror movie. Her new teacher, who looked like Lurch, was bringing objects that looked like pink wrinkled dead babies out of the vat with giant steel tongs. Budgie focused her eyes through the fume and nausea,til she recognized the objects. They were dead baby pigs! The teacher was handing one to each student. They were supposed to cut these things up with razor blades to look at the guts. Budge ran to the bathroom, she had to puke and there was no stopping it!
The kids at her new school seemed to be really hung up on fashion and made fun of her jeans for not being the right kind. Wranglers didn't pass the test but Jordache did. Budge went to art class and then to choir class. She could not sing but since all the classes were full she was shoved into choir. That crazed choir teacher threatened to beat Peep with her giant wooden paddle with holes drilled into it for not singing seriously. She did not believe her when she said that was her real singing voice. Even the nuns in Peep's former state had been forced to put away their whips and rulers before Peep entered their domain.
Budgie yelled "I won't take a butt whipping from you!" and ran out of the room. It creeped Budgie out that a woman who weighed 50lbs less and who was 4 inches shorter then her was going to attempt to beat her butt. Mr. and Mrs. Spyder as Budge got bigger, now would hit by surprise and punch her in the arm or pull her hair, rather then attempting spankings with a belt or being bent over and hit on the butt. They knew Budgie would fight back by pushing them away and the room would get torn apart. so they hit her by stealth. Budgie was taller then both parents by a very young age, and outweighed her mother by 50lbs. Mrs Spyder loved to slap Budgie, even when she thought everything was okay. Her father loved to kick her in the butt and punch hard on her arms, and pull at her hair. She would approach her parents slowly trying to gauge their moods. Mimi was never touched, ever, Mrs. Spyder worshiped her and Mr. Spyder wouldn't dare.
Budge would play "hookey" for the very first time. There was a pizza shop with a very nosy man outside the front of it. Budgie sat on the curb and contemplated her descent into juvenile delinquency on her first day of junior high school.
Budgie finally had her own bedroom in high school but barely got to see it, as she had to work, clean, go to school and make lunches. Every morning, Mrs. Spider laid Mimi's clothes out. and helped her get dressed and combed her hair. Mimi had her own personal maid and butler, even as Mrs. Spyder readied herself for the great middle class job her husband had gotten her at the government agency even thought she had flunked out of business college long ago. She made cakes, and salads, and spoiled her office mates while working a job that never seemed short on benefits or vacation time. Every female at the office dressed alike with curly short haircuts, and shirts with bows on the front of them and heels.
Budgie was on her own. No one told the truth about latchkey kids, that they were really were free maids and chefs for their parents. Budgie still loved to read but school was a drudge, she was always exhausted. The Spyders never let her sleep. She was always busy and moving around but her body never showed it. It just seemed to want to get bigger and bigger, no matter what she did. This led to crying sessions as she tried on clothes and Mrs. Spyder insulted her for being fat. She just was never good enough and her big body was one of the main focuses. The ugly masculine clothes she was forced into at Lane Bryant's just made her more depressed.
The Spyders treated her like a mannishly dressed Cinderella. Mrs. Spyder told Budge because she was fat, she should dress like a boy. She was not petite or pretty like other girls who deserved to wear dresses and those jelly flats that Budgie craved. Budgie would cry about everyone at her homophobic high school calling her a butch and lesbian, saying "I need to dress like other girls and not always in tight jeans and sneakers.” Mrs. Spyder would get angry then and say, "They don't make nice clothes in your size, lose weight!" Shopping trips with Midge were a nightmare. She yelled at Budge constantly and called her ugly. Budgie definitely was not the daughter she wanted, Midge got that in Mimi who was her perfect Mini-Me. Mimi didn't care about clothes and dressed like Mom, but definitely had far more feminine clothing then Budge
Budgie hated her parents and had constant guilt-attacks imagining them both dying in a massive explosive bloody car wreck so she could be free. She wondered if she would end up in hell for thoughts like this as she read more books on witchcraft, atheism and mysticism from the library which she hid from her parents.
At school, the teachers and counselors always tsked tsked over teenager rebellion. Teenagers who didn't obey their parents were bad people. Teenagers who imagined both parents coming to a fiery end were even more wicked. Teenagers with all the food they ate and costs they incurred also were a burden to their parents. They were not supposed to drink, smoke pot or have sex. They were supposed to grow up and be good Republicans. High school prep rallies prepared the future sports widows and football nuts for conformity. She thought of applying for emancipation, but then some friends told her she had to be able to afford her own rent. She knew paying 500 a month for an apartment on part time salad girl wages at the local steakhouse wasn't going to cut it.
She wanted to go to college, not end up working in restaurants forever. She saw the other underpaid sad adults who lived in the projects and smoked a lot of cigarettes and held down two and three jobs and was scared of ending up like one of them. Budgie wasn't allowed to take the bus but she ran into working class and poorer people at her endless jobs. The Spyders were always yelling at her to not end up as a “loser”. “Losers” included Aunt June, who drank too much, lived at home with Grandma at the age of 25 and who worked at a nursing home. Another "loser" was cousin Rene who worked at a factory warehouse hauling boxes and lived with her alcoholic father--the abusive ex-husband of Aunt Maybelline, she had ran from years earlier. These were "failed" people who couldn't afford a suburban home, who didn't have nice cars, and who didn't have enough money.
One dishwasher who bragged of being in prison for assault, wanted to date her. He told her, “Fat girls are hot” as he ground against her in the salad bar cooler, but she turned him down. She liked bad boys, goth, punk or biker boys gave her a secret thrill inside as she imagined a cool boyfriend dressed in black, giving her father a middle finger, but she knew this guy was major trouble and probably would only get her pregnant, like all the other bad girls and “whores” her parents would make comments about. The nuns also told her to remain a virgin at all costs, and that men would just use girls to pleasure themselves and dump them by the roadside pregnant too. So she thought, "I have to put up with the Spyders for now, and just get myself through college then things will be okay." Little did she know.
Mimi ordered her around too, nit-picking at the lunches she was forced to make. Nothing was every good enough for her and Mimi had grown from a little girl who sometimes smiled into a neat freak-prig who resembled Midge in personality exactly. She wore her hair in the same tight curls that formed a helmet hairdo. Mimi ate only Honey Nut Cheerios and no one still was allowed to touch her gold fish crackers which were bought for her specially. Mimi never got fat even though she ate lots more snacks then Peep did and never went hungry. Mimi could eat whatever she wanted out of the kitchen and was never screamed at to "Get out of the Fridge!".
Mimi had a scary temper. One day she got mad at Budgie's brother John Jr. for forgetting to program the VCR for her and her mother's favorite soap opera “General Hospital” and grabbed a giant serving fork, the one used for flipping large T-bone steaks on the big gas grill outside, out of the drawer and ran at him with it. When he dodged the incoming weapon, she stabbed the wall with such force, it got stuck. Budge walked into the kitchen seeing the stabbing fork standing out from the wall, while her siblings screamed at one another.
This was as bad, as the fight John Jr and Mr. Spyder got into the other week, where Mr. Spyder started hitting John Jr so hard in the hallway bloodying his nose, Mrs Spyder threatened to leave. Budgie never got defended like that. Budge would find out years later that a psychiatrist had seen his sister at that time and would deem her as not having normal emotions. The Spyders quit going after one appointment, probably because the psychiatrist wanted to take a look at the entire family. It was the case of another professional dropping the ball.
Budgie took the bus to school. Her brother drove his newer Gold Trans-Am, that he got for his 16th birthday. He worked at McDonalds and had to pay the insurance, but when Budge turned 16, she got the 1967 Family station wagon that was 20 years old. She had to pay her own insurance, too. It was hard to get to work and school as her car stalled out, and her father would rail and rage against her every time she got stranded. This car often would need three sprays of starter fluid in the distributor cap just to start in the morning. Mr. Spyder would jump up and down and scream, "Give it enough gas!" and when the engine flooded and would refuse to start at all, he would throw a fit.
Budgie often hid out in the science hall bathroom to read. It was in the farthest reaches of the school and she was happier when no one came in. Her teachers were all rabid Reagan supporters and soon to retire burned out WWII veterans. Budge fell asleep a lot. School lunches weren't so great too. She was sick of potato chips and cookies. Green vegetables barely existed. She often ate her bologna sandwich for a protein boost in the morning. Her sugary cereal had a life span of maybe only 1-2 hours in abating hunger. Insulin resistance and future diabetes was already knocking on Budgie's door.
Pizza and french fries was a cheap but unhealthy lunch her school offered. Budgie drooled over the salad bar and hot meals but never had enough money to spare even with her part time job. Midge always had her hand out for car insurance payments, school fees, gas money and Budge was already required to buy some of her own clothes but according to Midge's tastes. French Fries dipped in mayonnaise were not a good healthy diet choice,
Budge still got mad at school and fought her bullies and cussed them out but sadly the teachers agreed with too many of them that she was too fat, so she would be the one getting in trouble. Budgie due to her obesity, Aspergers and abuse faced a lot of social rejection. She was constantly rejected for not being someone else. Everyone wanted her to be a perky 100lb cheerleader, with smiles for everyone and big boobs and a low IQ. A sad fat bookworm girl wasn't loved by anyone. Budgie never tried to tell her teachers or counselors she was abused at home. The Spyders told her years ago that there would be a heavy price to pay if she called up CPS or told counselors the truth. Also because she never had burns or broken bones, and no longer got locked in her room, most adults would just see her as a “complainer”.
She already knew from dealing with the nuns, no one would believe her, or would tell her she was a "bad girl" and needed to obey her parents even more to keep them happy. Some people, like Allison, would pay some attention to her while bowling at her weekly league, but would ignore her in the hallways of high school. John Jr. told her "Don't get too close to me" and Mimi also would pretend not to know Budgie in school and got mad if she talked to her too much though Mimi was still bothering her and telling Midge to order Budge to help with her school work or commandeer her old school reports and projects for recycling.
Budgie worked as a salad girl in a steakhouse. She was supposed to keep the 1980s-era lavish salad bar full with jello, salads, cut mushrooms, hardboiled eggs, green peppers, and homemade soups such as cream of mushroom that Budge made from scratch. Budgie made pink ambrosia salad with rice and marshmallow sauce, potato salad full of eggs and mayo, pasta salad, and hot rolls from scratch. Budge was an excellent cook, and people ate tons of food from her salad bars, but this was not a good job for a teen with a very low metabolism who liked to take a nibble or taste her soup to make sure it turned out. She held a career niche as a salad bar girl and prep cook and when the steakhouse with it's flame broiled steaks and giant baked potatoes went out of business, She worked salad bars at two other restaurants including an in house one at a Holiday Inn and a Big Boy.
Budgie liked cooking because it meant she could be left alone. Working and not having to talk to anyone was better. She would try to think of the most creative salads to create, and at one restaurant she was allowed to get artistic, with bronze molds of fish and wreaths meant for jello salads. Sometimes, when she came back from time off, she noticed the other salad girls were far lazier, the mushrooms would get slimy and the salads start going "off" since they never cleaned out the containers properly on the bottom and were too lazy to fill it with all fresh. Budgie fluffed the kale leaves that beautified salad bars years ago before anyone started eating it. Her jobs were hard and physically demanding, there was trash to pick up and during closing she had to empty, de-ice, drain and scrub down the entire salad bar and wrap everything up tight for the fridge for the next day.
Budgie's family in her teens was upper middle class but they were cheap. So while the country club teens in her neighborhood got to hang out at the pool or go to camp and wear designers clothes. Budge just worked all the time like she was stuck in the projects and trying to get out. There was times she only owned one or two pair of pants that fit and school could get embarrassing. The other “rich” kids ignored her, since she was not one of them. The project kids acted nicer, but she lived far from their neighborhood and never could hang out with them.
She was tired and burned out by high school. The Spyders treated Budgie like Cinderella and when she got home 1am from cooking and cleaning, the next morning they would be shouting for her to get up at 7am to rake the huge 2 acre yard with dozens of giant trees, or clean or mow. John Spyder prided himself on a perfect lawn and did not believe in "resting", "fun" or "leisure", because everything must be kept up perfect to impress the neighbors. Beatings would ensue if a stick was left in the yard or if leaves weren't piled into plastic black trash bags "correctly".
After 8-12 hours of being smacked, screaming, and cussing and outraging the neighbors who often called the police when things got too noisy, the Spyders would tell all the kids, including Mimi who was resting her room after some light dusting and making cookies, to get cleaned up for 5:00 pm Mass. Both were indoctrinated into the view that missing a Mass meant hell. It never occurred to them that cussing out your kids might be a sin too.
Budge could not accept a thin cracker wafer literally being God and got grossed out imaging "god" sliding down their red throats with their gross saliva being drooled on "him" en route to their stomachs. Budge didn't like the Catholic church. It reminded her of horror movies. She was an atheist by age 10 reading Thomas Paine, Mark Twain and Ingersoll books from the public library. Since reading “Late Great Planet Earth”, though Budgie had a fascination with bible prophecy and would sneak read the Bible too. When she asked questions about God, it just made their parents angry and they told her to shut up. Budge didn't know what to think of God after all she had been given a such a horrible family and He didn't seem interested in doing much about it.
Mr. and Mrs. Spyder wanted to sleep in until 8am on Sunday mornings and read the newspaper. Midge would scramble some eggs, fry round squares of hash browns, Bob Evans sausage and cinnamon rolls with orange icing. Housework and more chores and endless household projects, where they had to hand tools to Mr Spyder, would then ensue. Escaping to friend's houses or outside was nearly impossible.
Budgie went to a hotel party her brother held. Her brother was more popular but his friends put him down a lot. She never fit in. It troubled her. Kids even out of school called her a weirdo and spaz during her thinner times. Drinking seemed really fun to her classmates. They always seemed eager to laugh at each other's jokes while she cracked a thin-lipped smile wondering what was so funny. When she used to attempt jokes, the rooms would screech to silence. Budgie slowly drinked her beer which tasted like pee without ammonia. Betsy bound in the room. The Spyders loved Betsy because she was always complimenting them. She had latched onto Mimi and tagged her home to kiss parental butt like Eddie on “Leave It to Beaver”. Betsy had dark dead blue eyes but always a wide smile with big teeth like Cheshire Cat. The Spyders always called her their "second daughter" leaving Budgie suspiciously out of the count.
Betsy was supposed to be one of Mimi's friends, but Mimi seemed to pick up friends that became her parents friends as well, Betsy would stop over and come to visit like a Pippi Longstocking sent from hell to torture Budge. Budgie's parents would turn to her and say "Why can't you be more like Betsy, she's so happy why we got to put up with your constant pouting!" Betsy would grow up to date old men including one boss who was 30 years older. She married that one after he left his wife, only to dump him for a man only 20 years older, when he got too sick and his retirement didn't add up to his previous pay. Betsy always got her needs met, just like Mimi and Midge, but with more smiles and jokes.
Louie drank his beer, he was another popular guy full of jokes. Mimi and John Jr. were there as well as his friend Chuck Coughalot. Budgie wondered what was she doing there? She was nice with her usual tight smile but no one seemed to take an interest in her even as she tried to talk and be friendly. Socially she noticed how everyone was the same, they were so happy, so spontaneous and so at ease. Even her sister threw back and laughed out loud after a couple drinks. Her brother flitted around the room bragging about his car and T-P exploits.
When Budgie was 13-15, it was the era of Aunt Maybelline, right before she began her restaurant jobs, Aunt Maybelline moved in. Aunt Maybelline had been found after disappearing for over 6 years. She had married her father's younger co-worker at the chemical munitions plant, and he had taken to beating her, even after they had two kids. They lived at home with her parents, but neither lifted a finger to stop his drinking or domestic abuse. Wives were supposed to do what they were told. Mr Spyder did his wife's bidding but openly in front of Budgie and the other kids, would say of his older sister, “Well she had what was coming to her!, she's crazy! He was just trying to knock some sense into her.”
Budgie looked at Aunt Maybelline, and decided if she had gone crazy, someone had made her that way. She always seemed nervous and smiling and would say things like “Let's be happy now.” She was always trying to soothe feelings, and would giggle a lot. But sometimes, things got scary. One time, Budge was sitting at a family meal at Denny's, the Spyders had gone to the bathroom, and Maybelline whispered in Peep's ear, “The Mafia's coming after me.” She shakily emptied around 5 blue bills into her hand from a prescription bottle. and took all of them. Maybelline seemed to change personalities too, she would act coy and laugh, and try to be overly friendly but in the next minute switch to a hardass complaining about women trying to steal her husbands. She was a product of 1950s New Jersey culture and a cold family.
Maybelline was taught to worship John. She was told she had to play the accordian at his 7 year old birthday party where the whole neighborhood was invited. Her parents never had a party like that for her. John could do no wrong and he was a math whiz always getting rewards for straight As and perfect in his parent's eyes. He was a boy, and would one day be the man to carry the family name while she was just a girl. John put down Maybelline constantly and this did not change.
To escape her abusive husband, and parents who never stood up for her, Maybelline one day, just decided to hit the road, she figured her two kids could be taken care of by the family, they were teens. She was tired of black eyes and getting shoved around. She just wanted to escape.
The Spyders always told Budgie that Maybelline was a wicked woman for abandoning her children, but even they admitted her husband beat her. Peep wondered inside why no one stood up against her husband and told him to stop hitting her. When Aunt “PeeWee” moved in, with her bad nickname made up by the family trained to degrade others, Budgie was kind of scared of her. She was always laughing and she kind of wouldn't listen. Her eyes would blank out. She carried little baggies of pills in her purse, and seemed to live in another reality. Her eyes were glassy all the time. Budgie could tell she was petrified of Midge and John too.
Aunt Maybelline, had disappeared for six years, and when she got desperate, in poverty and after being widowed, she called on her brother for his help, instead of ending up homeless. She had hit the road, and hitchhiked with truckers to escape her life in New Jersey to the absolute middle of no where in Budgie's fly-over state. It was “Wilderness” where Maybelline ended up.
Midge and John had piled the kids into the car, to drive up to Aunt “Pee-Wee's”. There seemed to be great consternation about their discovery that Maybelline had married a black man. They weren't exactly free-thinking people, Midge forbade Budgie from playing with the black doctor's daughter down the street in her own neighborhood. You would have thought Budge was in the deep South with her parents ready to put on pointy hoods the way they talked about Maybelline's husband. Budgie inside thought it kind of romantic, that Maybelline had escaped and found someone to save her. Anyhow her husband who was a trucker had died. Maybelline was left with only a small truck and a very little money, since his children had been left his small trailer and the pig farm. Maybelline had gone “no contact”, disappearing from her family to marry and enter a new life.
The Spyders drove up the trailer on the muddy road arguing along the way. Midge expressed disgust with the rural area, the poverty and everything else. She didn't like poor people too much even though she had grown up on a dirt farm herself in Ohio. She told Budgie and her siblings, on rare occasions when she had a few glasses of Sangria of how she had to go without shoes and ate popcorn for dinner. Poor people pissed her off and were “losers” and they were all to blame. They weren't “winners” like she and her husband who worked so hard. Midge and her favorite narcissistic brother were budding Tea Party members.
The deceased trucker's family members came out to say hello, from neighboring trailers and Midge with a furrowed brow sunk inside the car. “Ignore them”, she said. Maybelline came to the door giving a shell-shocked wary smile to the Spyder family. “Hi-ya!” The trailer was in horrible shape and had become a possible site for the future show Hoadrers, with piles of trash piled up. Bottles, piles of dirt, rags and newspapers lay scattered all over the floor. Obviously her grief and new loneliness had pushed Budgie's aunt over a new edge. Budge walked gingerly in behind her father, and her mother was there too. The two adult Spyders yelled at her, "What in the hell happened here?". She didn't respond.
Maybelline then laughed and said, "I made youse lunch!, it's in the oven!" Mr Spyder handed Budgie an oven mitt, and said "Go see what roadkill she made for us!", Budgie was scared but went over to the oven, and opened it, and in it was a ROTTEN PIG'S HEAD! It had been cooked, but was at least 3-4 days old and left unattended. It's eyes bugged out, it's ears flopped. Flies poured out of the oven. "It's still good!" Budgie's aunt cried. Budgie in horror, this was worse then the baby pigs at school, literally swooned across the table and almost passed out. Mr. Spyder yelled at her, "What in the hell is your problem?" but took a few steps closer and looked into the oven.
Aunt Maybelline would be committed by her brother to a psych ward. That would happen twice in the few years that followed. Budgie remembered mutterings about speed induced schizophrenia. She speed loaded diet pills to remain under 200lbs. This definitely wasn't the full picture. Psychiatrists didn't know much about narcissism or sociopathy back then or the severe affects of abuse. No one in the 1980s was warned about personality disorders.
Budge knew she had two aunts on both sides of the family who were deemed “losers”. Another one would become a hoarder and disabled by by age 30. Maybelline knew how to hustle and survive better most of the time, but wasn't all there. Both were put down by the rest of the family mercilessly just like Budge.
The Spyders had no mercy for things like mental illness. Maybelline, was an “embarrassment”, “evil”, and a “burden”. If someone died, you were supposed to just move on with life. The Sypders didn't ever grieve or cry when someone died, they just went to the funeral with some restrained phony smiles, and then the dead person would “disappear”, never to be spoken of again. Maybelline had broken the cardinal rule of Sypyder-hood, of having a few emotions.
The Spyders yelled at Budgie for being too much like Maybelline. Peep cried, and had emotions but she knew she was nothing like her aunt who desperately wanted to fit in and wore thick social masks, that an Aspie never could manage. The Spyders hated Budgie's differences, and threatened her all the time. A quiet, shy, emotional daughter with feelings was a burden too. They threatened Budge with shoving her into an institution. She didn't conform enough to please her parents. If it had been the 1950s instead of the more enlightened 1980s, Budgie probably would have found herself in one for life.
Budgie would go to the library and read books like “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” to see if she was as crazy as the Spyders claimed she was all the time, but she didn't have hallucinations like that girl, nor take drugs like Maybelline or go into hysterical laughter. Budge had building anger inside but was too scared to express much of it. She also was quiet and dutiful at school with a 3.4 grade point average. Budgie hid her terrible OCD and extreme panic attacks that caused her feelings of derealization. Knowing her mean parents, would use the smallest excuse to drag her off to the huge stone psych ward in their medium sized city, she kept her mouth shut.
Later Aunt Maybelline would be let out of the psych ward, and would be “stabilized”. She gained weight and seemed to like eating more after her psych ward stays were over. Budgie would spend a lot of time with Maybelline when she was moved into one of the trailers at the trailer park, the same one the Spyders had lived in before moving to their mammoth house. Even though Aunt Maybelline was “crazy” and “bad”, her company was preferable to the Spyders.
Budgie's aunt would make her hamburgers and fried onions to go on top and would give her lots of old Globes and National Enquirers to read. Sadly Maybelline was too messed up to ever stand up for Budge. Her mean relatives had led her to crack up. She was scared of Budgie's parents even more then Budgie was, and did everything she was told and tossed Budge under the bus at a minute's notice.
Aunt Maybelline would disappear again and run away. When Budgie turned 15, her only company away from home vanished with nary a word. Budge wouldn't know of what became of her aunt until almost 20 years later. Then she had married a wealthier Italian savior who moved her to Spring Break land in Florida into a huge rancher just blocks from the ocean.