Friday, August 26, 2011

My Little Brother

My little brother turned twenty-eight years old yesterday. I had cookies and milk from Snookies Cookies delivered to his doorstep as a different kind of birthday treat this year. Normally I send him some tee-shirt with a cool Brooklyn design on it from Brooklyn Industries. It is much cooler to wear a shirt sporting a different city than the one you live in rather than the one you actually live in. He would never wear a shirt with "Los Angeles" written on it unless it had "Lakers" embroidered right below it. Likewise, I don't think I can get away wearing a shirt sporting "Brooklyn." Something about it just feels like like I'd be trying too much. Maybe I would feel different if I was actually from Brooklyn, but I don't think so. My eighth grade vocabulary still rings fresh in my mind when I think of the word "poser." But my brother has pretty much always been able to pull off anything he wore, regardless of fashion faux pas. He has the looks and the charm to match any thrown together outfit that might suggest, "What? You've never seen this before?" It took me years to buy a fedora and actually rock it in places other than Las Vegas (a city based entirely on the same premise as Halloween). But not my brother. He even wore a pin striped wool fedora to Christmas once. And because he is so down to earth and whole-heartedly sweet he never comes off like most guys in fedoras come off- jerky. From August 25th to September 20th was always this strange space in time for us when growing up. I took pride in saying that I was two years older than him but the truth is I am just shy of two years older than him and it annoyed me when it felt like he was catching up. But nevertheless, there is a month each year where in terms of spoken age, he is only one year behind me and this year feels especially close, because in a few weeks I will be entering a different decade than him. I will turn thirty and that will always sound way older than anything starting with twenty. Besides how close we are in age, we grew up very close, both metaphorically and physically. We were forced to share a bedroom through high school, which was no easy feat. We fought a lot but also talked a lot even if we had invisible lines in the room that neither one of us was allowed to cross. I like to think I am the reason he got introduced to bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers which sparked an obsession of his with John Frusciante and he is definitely the reason I kick ass at playing the video game Streetfighter II. He was always Ryu or Ken and I was Guile or Chun Li. My brother and I had taken some space form each other this year which was painfully hard but something maybe we both needed after so many years set in our specific roles: Me the older sister constantly telling him what he should  be doing and him, the younger brother, avoiding any conflict that might set this Brooklyn Hurricane off. When we finally spoke a couple weeks ago, I felt like a light inside me had finally turned on. I had missed him and his "lightness" so much and it was so good to talk to him like we used to, both reclined in our respective spaces, not seeing each other, but hearing each other as twice as well. While I can't believe I will be turning 30 in a just a few short weeks, I can't believe my little brother is twenty-eight. When did we grow up? I can't imagine my journey without him. He is  the other half of my story. When I think about having children in the next few years, the one thing I want the most is for my kid (s) to have siblings, especially a brother. I can't imagine who I would be without mine.


Unknown said...

made me tear up.
siblings are the best.
you can never have too many.
i think.
i hope.
happy birthday little brother!

Carmen said...

agreed. nice post. speaking of siblings, how is it possible that with all of her children and commitments, mine always gets to this blog before me to comment. you are quick, v.