*I wrote this yesterday but never got around to posting it.*
I had a doctor appointment today. Good thing it was in the afternoon though because I stayed up way too late talking to my brother on the phone. I think that we could spend hours talking about music. We both have a deep love and connection to the same kinds of music, we both get the same things out of it. We have a system; he’ll tell me about Red Rider and which songs of theirs are amazing, and how he remembers our dad singing Big League to him as a kid, and I’ll talk to him about Woody Guthrie and his influence on American folk music and legends like Bob Dylan and how he inspires me to hone my own skills at songwriting. We swap our current favorites and any previously unknown-to-us music so that we can both feel it and learn from it. I got him into Eddie Vedder and Alligator Stew, he got me into Pink Floyd and Steve Earl.
We both live and thrive on music, we couldn’t handle a life without it, it’s in the air that we breathe. It’s a connection so deep that I can’t even begin to explain it properly. And, my brother is an unbelievable guitar player with the ability to send shivers down my spine and bring me to tears. He’s truly amazing and listening to him play makes me so proud of him. I really wish that he could be given the opportunity to go somewhere professionally with his music, to play and jam for a living. He deserves it because he truly is unspeakably skilled. (I wanted to upload an improvised song he sent me but I’m not nearly as tech savvy as I like to think and I’m not sure if he’d approve).
It’s nice for us to have these talks and to be able to relate to each other about something we’re both so passionate about. Our relationship wasn’t always so easy going, in fact, it was quite the opposite. There were times when I’d go to bed thinking that the best thing that could ever happen to me would be to lose him, or to have never known him in the first place – now adays it hurts me to even type that. But, it was rough for a long time, our house was very broken for many years. He was in a really dark and bad place and because of it everyone else in the house was too. I wish that things had been different, but even at the worst of times I still just wanted him to be happy, and he definitely wasn’t.
With space and time to grow and heal, I understand him better now and can see that he sees the world in a different light than the rest (or most) of us. He despises the ignorance of society, our government and a school system that he views is only there to brainwash and conform us from a young age until adulthood. Even at an age as young as 6 years old he hated the forced conformation and oppression – he threw his lunch box in front of my mom’s car, angry that she was making him go to such a place. He could see something that the rest of us couldn’t.
I understand and share many of his views now, though, he tends to have a more paranoid and extremist viewpoint than my own. We both see how unbearably flawed, cruel and unfair that the world and the societies in it are. While my disgust towards the world tends to base more on an empathetic stance to the immense suffering that exists – that we cause – his tends to focus more on the radical disgust of an extremely sick, corrupted and faulty mainstream society and ruling system.
Now he lives about 8 hours away and has a steady job and a girlfriend, he’s making good money and just bought his first vehicle. He’s in a good place, a place that I often wondered if he’d ever get to. The burden that lifts off of my mind and shoulders is massive – I don’t have to worry about where he’s going to sleep or if he’s okay anymore. I can breathe easy knowing he’s doing well.
I put the song above on his Ipod for him (the extended version), he told me that he wants it played at his funeral, whenever the day may come. It’s also one of my favorites. He said it makes him weepy because it makes him think of my mom and I. I know that the pain the both of us are in and our illnesses are really hard on him. He seems to think about it a lot.
This Christmas, I’m thankful for my brother and the relationship that we have now. I’m thankful that his life has turned around and that he’s one his feet and doing well. I’m also thankful to have someone to share the greatest love and joy of my life with – music – who understands just what it means to me.
So, cheers brother, love ya.