Since the death of my father, my brother Joe and I have broken our pseudo-silence and have become closer again. This is after a few years of him going through his “I’m pissed at absolutely everyone in the world because I don’t know how else to cope” mode. The tragedy is it took the reality-shaking death of our father a few months ago to get him to snap out of his internal struggles in order to realize there is, in fact, finality to everything.
Since our father’s death we’ve been emailing each other 3 -10 times a month. It’s been therapeutic to say the least. My brother. Whom I helped take care of since I was old enough to understand how to hold a spoon and feed him. Joe. The only person who I can say anything to and have the ability to read precisely what he’s saying to me just by looking at his face. His raw body language.
I am a body reader.
You know when a certain holiday rolls around and you’re reminded about a favorite food or dish you can’t wait to have again? The yearning. The anticipation. Continuing a close relationship with my brother, at this point, is kind of like that. Familiar. Good. Heartwarming. Filling.
Since my brother and I have been talking, my girlfriend and I recently talked about me streaming video games for him so he and I could interact in a more personal way. Something that we used to share when we lived together. I’d play video games and commentate. He’d watch and laugh.
So far he’s liking it. The therapy continues.
In some ways I feel like one of those people who do nice things for other people, not because they’re benevolent, but because they want that tiny rush they get from getting someone’s appraisal. Slightly selfish with a side of selflessness. I also feel like my brother doesn’t have a lot of time left. He’s getting old as he’s approaching 40. That’s like “65” in Cerebral Palsy years. His health is also deteriorating as he spends most of his life sedentary, lying on the floor. He rarely gets out. I know he’s also in a lot of pain. He’s usually hopped up on pain killers when he’s not sleeping.
It makes me sad sometimes. But then I think that only bitches would be sad for my brother. Only a bitch would look at his life and feel sorry for him. I love my brother. I don’t want to lose him – but I will. I know it.
So I play video games, turn on my camera facing toward me, hit “Begin Stream”, and hope I put a smile on his face.