As years gather momentum or so it seems, the age gap between friends and colleagues fizzles into meaninglessness, yet there's this hierarchy between siblings that remains from childhood. That's what I've witnessed a lot. I have friends that are older than my brother and I see them as equals, or more so I don't acknowledge their age as a point of respect. I acknowledge who they are as people and respect follows in tow. In my own situation, age wasn't really the only thing that separated Gary and I. We're nothing alike, but we did our time in the family amusement park. We spent some moments bickering, but it was mostly kid stuff. Looking back from who we are now and how we haven't changed, the clothing fads trickled down to the horrible affordable Mervyn's outlet and seriously horrible things we tried to do with our hair glare so embarrassing and obvious. At some point we both fell into who we are presently and now we share a recognition of our socially humbled pride that swims in the artery our brotherly sarcasm. I'm pretty sure that makes sense...to me...it's late.
Once I was in high school, he was out. Sometimes I think it would have been great to have a sibling in school with me, but blazing my own trail through public education proved to be good for me ( i think) and it's all over now anyways.
My brother is roughly 4 years older than me. He's had some ups and downs, learned some good life lessons and is wise enough to see that time changes a lot. I think neither of us hold our parents responsible for any of the shortcomings we've experienced thus far. There comes a time, you know, to accept responsibility for yourself. Well, he still has a full head of hair so maybe I'd have more to complain about to a therapist. Outside of genetic misfortunes, there's the life prep. Gary and I have always known what we like doing. Never been an issue. Neither of us were ever bored. We were active, but we weren't the ball players my Dad had in mind apparently. That's what happens when you make boys with a short Portuguese woman. Next life, 6 foot Samoan lady dad!
I was drawing from age 5, and my brother was taking apart speakers and stereos since he was old enough to hold a soldering iron. Now, he's building his own vehicles in his garage. And he's really good at it. By the time I met Tana he was living in Hayward and I was making weekly trips to see him there to get out of the "frat" house that really never materialized into the artist house studio I had envisioned. After a few encounters with Tana and I Gary said to me, "Bro, I've never seen you this happy. Tana's a really cool girl." And without that statement, I don't think Jade would be around today.
I've had that statement bouncing in my mind recently. Happiness and Tana. I'm glad we got married. I'm glad we had Jade of course, my life will forever be changed. Sometimes I feel like Jade would be better with a sibling, however most of the time I don't even think about it and am so happy to direct my focus on her solely.
Gary's always had friends and girlfriends and family but from my perspective he's never really integrated himself into the lives of these people. But me, he's always had my back, supported me and made me feel like an exceptional person. You can't put that kind of shit on a chart. He's the uncle I imagined Jade bonding to, but because he's so busy and lives an hour away, well he doesn't really call either... but as Jade gets older I'm sure he'll relate to her more. He's kind of not sure around babies. Not enough metal. But what I'm saying is Gary has always accepted me and looked out for me, but also completely never led me in a direction that wasn't true to what I was naturally bound for. Mainly drawing ninja turtles. Really though, he's one of my band's favorite fans and he doesn't want anything but paintings of odd characters. Easy and awesome.
Yes there was the time i was stuck in the "triple wheel cage" five stories up at Great America with him and some strange chubby jet trash girl as they totally just made out in front of me like crazy and long. And the time when he was dancing on the back deck of our parent's house and his leg broke though the board, hair flying, knee on nose...other leg straight up in the air. Aaaaaand the time he fell asleep in the truck after my father dropped the boat off at the mechanics. Gary wakes up and about 30 minutes later realizes the boat is gone and says "Uh, Dad...Where's the boat?!!" Or the time we got hammered in the paddle boat at 1 in the morning at our home on the dleta and had a blast laughing the whole time paddling around the island. And when we took the family vacation, and gary's got his headphones on wicked loud, silent plane, he looks out the windows and in a huge booming voice, yells "Hey! Clouds!" Classic. Or the time he "fixed" my rockem sockem robots so their heads flew off...and never went back on. Or when he showed tuned my radio to an underground hiphop station and showed me how to listen to music while going to sleep by putting the thing under my pillow. Thanks man. Or the first time we hot boxed Walt's boat listening to the Beastie Boys first album on Gabe's boombox when it was first released. Kneeboarding, wakeboarding, slalom, barefoot, sit n ski, hand painted mini trucks, the yellow civic with the crazy system, bike ramps, bad ass bike ramps, remote control cars, the forebay, staying at Grandma and grandpa's, the farty night with grandpa, the family vacations, the shared friends, cruising el camino, Mrs. Gross, the bar tab on the cruise, Anita's breakfasts, the late night delta fires, hand drums on the levy, Jeff getting his ass pulled through the skylight and beat up in the trailer by Danielle's friend, Grandma's funeral, my wedding, and damn it it's time for another adventure, man!
There's guidelines in life that one can follow, but it you get locked up in the stark and rigid definitions of categories that people and life can fall into, you've lost it. Fruits fall in the fruit category and cars are cars but people aren't one "thing" or another. Always more complex. Sometimes you wish to adopt that, sometimes their drama falls on your lap while you're trying to shit. Roundabout way of saying, siblings, no siblings...it's your life and if you share it, be fair, remember karma. And every life is different. There's no "what ifs" in the hindsight dictionary.
So Gar', here's my shout out to you. May life march on in bad times and slow down for the good ones. I love you. Super proud, and thank you so much for being you...to me.