Brother

My younger brother is asleep on the floor next to me. When I arrived home a half an hour ago, he was bright red, upset, and inconsolable. The problem? His father made him pause the game he received for his birthday, and carry his dirty clothes downstairs. I comforted him, being, again, the only one who could get him to breathe normally, and talk. This passive state of guardianship is really starting to fray me. I can make no large decisions, no one asks my advice or heeds my warnings, yet when things go awry, I'm called home from an enjoyable evening to "fix" him. I'm not saying, at all, that his video game sessions shouldn't be interrupted. My brother is autistic, and also clever and sneaky. He can remember things, and perform complex tasks. When he wants to. But when i mention maybe a chore list that should be completed before Lego Star Wars, some sort of mild punishment if he fails to cooperate when he has before, and the fact that he could have with no harm or anguish caused is emprical evidence to everyone in the house, my mother flips her shit. "You don't understand him the way I do, I'm his moooother." Oh, forgive me. I do not have the understanding that comes from ignoring the son that disappoints me, that will never live on his own, win the damn Nobel Peace Prize or whatever little fantasy you had set up. And I know from my own idiocy how much one of us deviating from the plan, consciously or not, irritates you. He's my brother, and I grew up defending him from the jackasses who would scare him, take advantage of him, use him selfishly. I grew up being the only one who could understand him until he was almost eight. I'm the one who talks you out of sending him to a half-way house everytime he forgets to wipe his mouth at your fru-fru dinners, and ashames you in front of your fru-fru friends. The thing that bothers me most is not that I occasionally have to deal with him when he's not fun to be around. It's that he's unhappy too, and you don't seem to give a damn.

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I know exactly how you feel. My nephew is ADHD, sensitive, and is turning into his mother more and more. Which ain't good at all.

And we give them the emotional support that has carried them through their whole lives...yet when we want to take time for ourselves, that's just plain selfishness right there.

I don't get what makes anyone think they're smarter than everyone else, once they poop out a baby.

Hang in there, chyle!

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"How come you never find chicks for ME?" "Because you never hang out even though you're in DC all the time."

We as a family are known for our wit, him more so than me. I kind of want to use that line--the whole story really, but that line especially--in my musical.

There's a reason why these thoughts have been flooding back recently and now seem to constantly occupy my mind like they used to. I spent a year at the same age that he was when he was killed. I recently had a birthday, and now I'm older than my older brother.

It feels profoundly wrong.

And it's a reminder that when he was at the same stage in his life that I am now, he couldn't manage to save his own life despite having a chance to fight and despite all that he had to live for.

I've written more on this subject at ghost, irony, pain, violence, and vigilante.