It's an easy evening, Joe is doing his notorious renditions of popular rap songs remixed a la Frank Sinatra (although his T-Pain, Buy You a Drank was a little more Tom Jones than Frankie) I'm on the phone engaging in virtual happy hour with Lisa who is back home in New York City, 3,000 miles away. Lisa and I chat for a while as Joe works on next dimension music stuff. It's a couple hours later now, I'd say about 10:00 GMT and I'm wrapping up my blog entry for the evening. The phone rings and while I'm inclined not to answer it, I'm just about done and perhaps it's an emergency-so I answer.
I'm going to set the stage for you here just a bit for those of you who are not familiar with the belligerent blurtings of my dear brother-in-law. I answer, "Hello...hello..." I hear his voice and while it isn't always a total disaster his tone tonight says disaster in a way that brings Chernobyl to mind! Hey Josh, how goes it...I look over at Joe's raised eyebrows and shaking head. Josh wastes no time, "Nothing man what the fuck, where's my brother how come he never calls me?" I sigh and take a deep breath (as well as one for the team) when I say, "Oh he's at work is everything ok?" Now sounding more somber than belligerent he says, "Whenever anyone needs someone to talk to I'm there even when I don't wanna hear their bullshit, this shit is hard man...I need to talk man..." So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I inquire further. He erratically leaps into an almost exuberant tone and says, "Meka you know I fuckin' love you right, even though you...ah forget it I'm not even gonna talk about that I just love you..." I say," And I love you-but what's up?"-To which he says, "Don't patronize me, I've always shown you respect even when you went against the grain on my moms". I say to him that I'm not trying to patronize him and he responds with, "What are you doing over there on The West Coast? When are you gonna do something with yourself you're a brilliant woman you could've been a doctor, how old are you now 34, 35...get off that hippie vegetarian, homeschooling shit! You know I keep it real Meka-you're a failure, you let your life go to waste...for real a total waste."
Act One ends as my buzz exits stage left...
Now there are two roads I can take with this last comment, but with my yoga practice deepening and self-discovery increasing (yes my hippie shit), I opt the high road and say only, "that's not true, I am successful, it's just that"...Well what I wanted to say was that my priorities and ambitions have changed before he interrupted and began sharing his recent success in real estate and haranguing me about how he had a city job and a pension and a rather impressive net worth. Alas, we return to my failures, in addition to my fear of success and ultimately ending with me inhibiting the success of my children because I don't want them to surpass Joe and I! So now I'm feeling there isn't enough Tadasana in all of the Western Hemisphere to keep me from launching an all out, neck-rolling, full on, F-word riddled verbal assault. Yet, I remain calm but remind him that the dreams, ambitions and aspirations he speaks of were during a very different time in all of our lives.
Yes, I wanted to be a doctor at 15 when I started college, I also wanted to be president of the United States just a few years before that. I thought I'd seduce a much older Phil if I could only learn to put my lipstick on with my boobs the way Molly Ringwald did in The Breakfast Club. Well, I didn't become a doctor partly because what intrigues me is the human mind and not necessarily the encumbent human-how's that for bedside manner? I didn't become president and I probably just said that shit because some other nerdy kid in one of my AP classes said it. Truth is, I could care less about the governing rulers, and I'm not all that proud to be an American. Phil committed suicide years before I lost my virginity, we did kiss a few times and share some very deep conversations about addiction. And,well I never grew enough boobage to do the lipstick trick but I did marry a man that thinks I'm beautiful. We have two children who I've managed to keep alive, well-adjusted and sane without that medical degree in psychiatry. I support my children's dreams by loving them even when I'm not in love with their ideas. My 15 year old son wants to be a rapper. He's a talented wordsmith, perhaps that dream will come to fruition or he may coach one of his children to the Scripps Nationals, or he may do something completely unrelated and write me a hearftfelt letter thanking me for loving him and his sister with all that I am.
Josue, kudos on your real estate business, civil service employment and pension, but if the purpose of your jeremiad was to convince me that I am a failure, let it be the first strike against you. Thanks for reminding me of just how far I've come; success is a journey not a destination.