December 05, 2002


Yesterday would have been my little brother's 30th birthday. I can't even type that sentence without crying.

I have the most wonderful picture of him here on my desk. It was taken in Florida, on the beach. The lighting suggests that it was getting close to dusk.

His hair is a little long and looking a little blown. He has that smile... that beautiful J-Bird smile. I'd never really looked close enough (too hard) but my little sister asked me one day if I'd noticed what the shirt actually says. I looked closely...."Got Shrooms?" Even through the tears that still makes me laugh.

I was the "bad influence" on him. I didn't so much as suggest things for him to do (sex, drugs, drinking) but would allow them around me, mainly so that I could control them. I knew that if I let him drink in my apartment, he wouldn't be driving anywhere and getting into trouble. I knew that if he was going to experiment with acid or something, at least I could be in the house in case something went wrong.

I used to lecture him about safe sex. Always use a condom! Always always always! Don't trust a girl to say she's on the pill, that's not 100%. If YOU don't want a child, YOU do something to prevent it! Yeah, I was a little radical about it at the time.

Anyway....I lived in the same apartment building as my parents and brother. My parents were out of town one week and I was "keeping an eye" on my brother. Mainly I was waking up and making sure he was awake for school each morning and eating something that resembled real food in the evenings. We had keys to each apartment in case we ever needed/wanted anything. (Obviously this is before my mom flipped out) I was in the bedroom in my apartment, laying on the bed in that half-sleep/half-awake state with one eye closed and the other sorta kinda watching TV. All of a sudden I hear a very low voice saying "Michelle...." I'm surprised I didn't hit the ceiling I jumped up so high. After I was able to breathe again I asked him what he wanted. He had his girlfriend over to their apartment...would I please go buy him condoms? I looked at him and had no idea what to say. What is the correct protocol when your brother is standing there telling you he is about to have sex for the first time? Do you hug him? Laugh? Smile? I think I just stood there, stunned, for a few moments. He handed me money, told me what he wanted and walked out of the apartment. I ran to the store and walked up to their apartment. I had barely knocked when he opened the door enough to put his arm out. I put the bag in his hand and fled down the stairs.

I never told my parents that story and my brother and I never discussed it beyond my saying "Be prepared next time and don't wake me up at 1AM to go buy your condoms for you!"

I should have told him I was proud of him. I should have said I was happy to see that he listened to me and was being responsible. I should have told him more that I love him. I do love him....and I miss him terribly.

Posted by rowEn at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)