Friday, October 16, 2009

Just in case I like the dancing...

I feel like I start every other post with a complaint on how my body cannot keep up with my mind or schedule.

Tired again.
Still fighting off sickness.
Flushing my body out with water.
Hoping it goes away.

A friend from my other blog flew into town yesterday, drove two or three hours to have dinner with me last night. Sweet guy, very expressive eyes. Easy to read. Had a tendency to joke by suddenly switching into a faked extreme anger without warning, though. I did not mention how many of my Pavlovian reactions that habit of his triggered. I need to get used to it. I need to expose myself to it so my fight-or-flight becomes dulled and managable.

Funeral was also yesterday.

I saw my two uncles do something I had never seen before: act like brothers.

I watched them, during the ceremony, make hand gestures and jokes across the aisle at each other, a quiet, hardly noticed acknowledgment of a shared childhood.

It astounded me.

They're always so distant, acting more like cousins that happen to see each other on holidays than boys who grew up together.

I suppose that's not overly surprising.

The older of the two went into real estate, but not in the normal way. In his mid-thirties, he was already a millionare, driven and successful, a no-excuses, no-way guy. Very judgemental, very knowing that everything he did was successful so his advice was solid gold and those who did not listen were fools and to be rejected.

The younger became an architect. Came out of the closet. Partied, rode motorcycles, joined a fraternity, took up with a man two decades his senior, spent his time around artists, writers, actors, designers. Never very successful. So different than his brother. Infinitely more open and accepting.

I watched their hands move, relaying information in a code that I could not understand, a shared language of common childhood experiences. I watched them silently laugh and smile at each other while the elder messed with a camera he had hidden behind a pew.

They were boys again. Brothers.

My sister sat to my right. Black dress, black flats, blonde hair.
My mother sat in the pew in front of me. White blouse, black pants, red hair.
My father across the aisle with the pall bearers. Black suit, white shirt, blonde hair.

We are the sum of our experiences.

My sister and I have some shared language, but her ever present judgement has an isolating effect that is amplified by her behavior.

My father's constant direction, constant molding and formation of character, leaves me at a distance, his occasional explosions make me wary and afraid.

My mother is more of a sister to me than my own sibling. Best friends, allies, confidants, anchor points for each other. Closer than we should be, easy to communicate, easy to understand.

I am glad that she is my mother, but I wish that she was closer to my age so we could have more time together. The years show on her face and I watch and wait.

Wondering what will take her from me.


  1. It's always been weird for me how one moment family can be either total strangers and the next moment your closest friends.

    I hope it went as well as it could in the circumstances.

  2. I think the idea of family for the average person is this concept where you never have to belong or be around, but in times of need or certain groupings, there's no awkwardness or barriers.

    If that makes sense.

    There were no practical jokes played at the funeral, which I think was the best we could have hoped for, given the attendees.