Tuesday, June 05, 2007

He's A Bastard But He's My Brother

Thanks to the crimson wave, I have the blues today. I came home midway through the morning feeling a drained, anxious, achey and depressed and I haven't improved. A friend confessed a very sad thing to me this morning about his little family and it's affected me more than I thought it would. A tale of disconnection and self ostracism that caused him great pain. I've been guilty of that myself.

HippyBro used to live next door when my dad was alive. He's two years my junior, always been a loner and one-out-of-the-box. A vegetarian, a counterculturalist and by his own admission a hedonistic narcissist which didn't add up to a very nice person overall. He didn't want to live there but numerous breakups with his marriage forced him home on a regular basis and once my mum was killed, he moved in for over a decade. At first, it was nice to have a male influence, especially for DrummerBoy to whom he was very generous. Went biking with him, took him skiing, lavished boys toys on him, built a baseball net for batting practice and nurtured the little tyke in a suprisingly sweet way. He was co-carer for six weeks when ClareBear and I did our European and North American trip in 1995 and appeared to have a close bond with the child drummer. But as the little tyke became a porky teenager (baby fat now melted away to reveal a 6' broad and beautiful young man) HippyBro lost interest. It coincided with the reconciliation of his marriage.

She lived in the mountains, him here in the burbs. She is strange, of Latvian descent, blond, attractive, petite, vegan and never had children. She's a midwife and specialises in home births and celebrates 'the mother goddess' and all things maternal with a mystical enthusiasm that gives me the creeps. A concept I've never been comfortable with. She gets drunk very quickly and resorts to tears and histrionics but for many years now, she's made him happy 'ish. He spent weekends with her and became shorter, sharper, less interested in DrummerBoy or anyone in his family. Skulky dark looks and bouts of bad temper set us apart. In all the years he lived here, he never made a meal for his father - Dad ate with us at least five nights a week. He came home from work, flopped on his bed and withdrew to his room exiting only to break open a bottle of VB or to sit with us on warm summer nights before having a hissy fit and doing the 'jock shuffle' his way of avoiding conflict.

Finally, New Year's Eve 2000, he lost his bottle because BabyBro stayed over and slept in his unmade bed to avoid Stressany's snoring. Apparently this was a violation of his bastion of privacy and all the years of brewing anger came to a head . . . there were other issues I'm sure but I never found out what they were. I was the target for the venom. Probably because in the past when he bemoned his living arrangement I wasn't afraid to tell him to get a mortgage and piss off rather than skulk around being miserable. This estranged relationship continued to get testy when the 'buyout' took place, him accusing BabyBro and I of delaying in his settlement which wasn't the case, changing Title Deeds and making such complex financial arrangements took about six weeks. And so, we didn't speak much after he took the money and retreated to the mountains for good.

He formally left next door 3 years ago when BabyBro bought most of his share of the property which was our inheritance, and moved in with his wife. We correspond rarely and always to do with issues relating to the house, the sale that's not happening etc. Civil but chill. Lately, in my melancholy about work and money and the feeling that my siblings are becoming more disconnected as this blasted property thing unfolds, and in light of what two of my male blogger friends have said to me, I'm thinking that a reconciliation might not be a bad idea. I don't think we'll ever be the best of friends but the thought of a brother that was once so close, disappearing into the bush isn't one I relish.

2 comments:

K8 said...

They say that the hardest part about doing something is starting it. Maybe all it'll take is someone to make a minor move. From my own experience though, the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. I think we all have stories a bit like this one.. don't be too hard on yourself.

Baino said...

Thanks K8 it's nice to have support when you're feeling fragile. I have left it a long time but things are improving slightly. There's always a black sheep isn't there!