Let’s see here. Last post prior to the last post was in uh… February. Pretty terrible. You didn’t miss much, though. Band played some shows, I saw Valient Thorr a couple more times, got a new amp, my brother moved in with me…
Obviously, that last one is sort of a big development.
If you dropped by this spot often enough, you might dimly recall that my brother, who I’ll call Junior, was going to college and playing water polo (or wasserball, in German, apparently). Well, that didn’t work out. If you believe that marijuana (or, let’s face it, booze) is not a gateway drug, well, I have some bad news about the tooth fairy, too. Long story short, he moved here in August in order to grow up a little (and by a little I mean a lot) and get back on track. Results, as they say, may vary.
Now, I don’t care if he smokes weed. We’ve all been 19, and some of us have clung tenaciously to 19 for over a decade. But there’s a line (and not a fine one, I think), between recreation and self-medication. I mean, yeah he’s working two jobs and he’s sort of figuring out that life for most people is not an episode of Entourage. But the one-dimensionality of it all is wearing pretty thin. I don’t know. I hate saying that I took him in, because it makes him sound like he was some sort of junkie everyone had given up on, which wasn’t really the case. I suggested he move in with me so he could get a taste of living on one’s own, and how it sucks when you have to work crap jobs in order to barely have enough to pay rent and fill up your gas tank. And more than that, our parents needed a break.
He’s doing okay. I think he’s learning a little about gratitude (which in my mind has been the most egregious offense to our folks—he treated them like ass in exchange for free room and board, car insurance, a cell phone, etc. etc. etc.). And moreover, he’s a good kid with a good heart. I feel bad for being hard on him. I just don’t want him to echo the same mistakes I did. And he’s putting down the bong (or rather, leaving it alone) more and more.
What I was initially worried about when he moved here was not having his head in the proverbial clouds. It was him getting depressed and lonely because we are ten years apart and I don’t know too many people under 21. Fortunately, he met some kids at one of our shows with similar interests, and now I routinely come home to an apartment full of 19 year olds. This is good and bad. On the upside, he has people to hang out with, and they’re pretty cool kids. Junior and his new buds smoke Marlboros and what, if I had to guess by the smell, might very well be dirty diapers. I’ve never been a gourmet when it comes to dope, but whatever they’re buying is definitely shitty. They also play a lot of video games, which as Jackie pointed out, is adorable. Prior to getting Xbox Live, this was Mario Kart and Goldeneye (Junior is, without a shred of irony or kitsch, an old-skool gamer, which is one of the many things I love about him—in fact, he is almost completely devoid of irony. This is a subset of his personal naïveté, a character trait that is simultaneously endearing and worrisome). Now they stay up until 4am playing Halo 3. And this is what's annoying, coming home yet again to a bunch of kids who don't have to get up and go to work.
In the latter activity, I wish I could hang with them. If not for the ol’ dayjob, I’d love to stay up drinking beer and shooting red or blue iterations of Master Chief with Junior and his friends. But I can’t, on account of the frustrating advance of adulthood. And this is currently the big sticking point between him and me.
For several years, my mom has complained that Junior “rats around all night.” And I never thought it was a big deal until I discovered that he slept in until the mid afternoon because he’d been up until four doing whatever the fuck he does. I don’t care about the staying up late. But I’ve been of the mind that the price for staying up late having fun is suffering through the morning of the following day. Even on weekends, I am out of bed before noon, and usually I’m out of bed before 11. And this also was the case during college, when I had marginal jobs and no places to be. Yet Junior has an entirely different philosophy. And so we go round and round; I fulminate and sermonize, he makes promises, and then when he gets up an hour before he has to go to work in the afternoon, I shake my head and think up a big sarcastic speech to deliver the next time we have some time together. Repeat. I can’t say that he’s as lazy as he used to be, but the constant sleeping still pisses me off to no end. And yes, I’ve considered that he’s depressed, especially when you couple the sleeping with a constant cannaboid fog. But lying in bed in hot bedroom that smells like burned Pampers is no way to pull yourself out of a funk.
Still, the whole process seems to be moving forward. He owes me money, and I’m being a jerk about it, and when he can’t afford to buy crappy shwag maybe then he’ll really get what I was talking about when I said, “my life really isn’t as big a party as you think it is.”
And then, what would be really great, is if I could start to feel more like a big brother than a parent.