Oh, how i missed this boy, my broha. It had been more than a year since i'd seen him. He's been studying in China which seems inconceivably far to me. My brother's an amazing guy. I'm so proud of the stellar young man he's become. The kid is as adept in the wilderness as he is in a gimungous, sprawling metropolis. He's sensitive, emotionally intelligent, yet a total stud-muffin.
I'll never forget one February in '08, days after i'd been dumped on Valentine's via text message by a guy i'd dated for more than a year. I was totally immobilized by the affront to my heart and subsequent derailing of my emotional roller coaster. He was the first man i'd fallen for. I was crushed. sunk. undone. unable to peel myself up, i was glued in tears and shock and sorrow to the shower floor. It was hours, days maybe, i sobbed in a ball pressed against the cold, hard, tiles. I'm a crybaby. It was rough.
My family finally convinced me to go out to dinner. I managed to scoot my ghoulish self, dazed, oozing, scabby, gaping heart wound and all, out the door and into the car with the rest of the clan.
At the time my little brother was all of 15 or 16. I'm not sure how the topic of the break-up was introduced. I think my dad (step-dad) was conducting a well-intentioned check-in. I told him i felt better, but still pretty turdish. He said, "Well, at least you can write some more bad poetry."
"Thanks" i murmered, mostly dumbfounded. Before long, it lead into more discussion about my having been dumped. My step-dad commented, "You were too easy." (Which i wasn't; i'd resisted months of daily romantic appeals from a guy i'd been good friends with and attracted to for years.)
Anyhow, i'm not sure if my face betrayed it, but my already fragile spirit was disintegrating on the spot, ready to shatter and fly off like the seeds of a dandelion into some other day and place and time. My brother, in uncharacteristic force said, "Dad, stop talking."
He came to my rescue. I'll never forget it. It's one of only two times i ever heard him stand up to his father. He was the kind of kid you never had to discipline; one stern look or harsh tone and he was rendered teary-eyed and cowering. He's such a sweetheart.
It was so good to see him. I'll be damned if he didn't snag me up out of a small, internal moment of emotional distress again during this last visit. I'm sure it was a product of my having resisted just about every photo opportunity i'd ever encountered, but my parents were taking pictures of my brother and sister in the kitchen over Thanksgiving break, and never implored me to join them for a snapshot.
On any other day i'd be relieved at the omission, but in the face of the change brought about by our mom and their dad's separation, i was hyper-sensitive. Major transitions tend to breed worst-case-scenario-ing, it seems. As such, i was dreading any rift or division between us siblings. I freaking love them. My parents had put their cameras away when my brother said, "Mom, take one of the three of us."
Oh, Jofus. Oh my heart. I knew right then, it was all gonna be okay. We have each other. It's kosher. Divorce is a boat-rocker, but we're braving it out together, us brothers and sisters, by holding each other closer.
|Mom and me|