Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life's Hard

Has there ever been anyone you would die for? I guess that's an easy question if you have children but long before children, the man I love and the many mishaps with the law that finally convinced me otherwise, I would have laid down my life for my brother. When he was young and it was looking like he would never fulfill the promise of our family six foot average height I used to defend him from bullies by fighting kids twice my size and winning. Obviously, long before the "zero tolerance" days of today. My brother was my other half. When I had the words, he had the illustrations. So it really shouldn't have been a surprise that I took the conventional road and he found some lost path to nowhere to follow. The years passed and I lost track of how many jails and prisons he inhabited. For a brief time we lived together as young adults and I realized that we no longer even spoke the same language most of the time. There were little glimmers of the boy I'd once known and we'd launch into our old comedy routines and laugh and love each other again but now he was hard and mean and dark sometimes and while I used to be able to pull him out of those depths with ease it was now an impossible task. So we parted again, he went to jail and I found love and a new life. It's been over 20 years now and then a call in the night from him and I'm torn again. How can you help someone that only looks and sounds like someone you would have once died for? The call today is even worse. He's homeless and the social worker will give him a bus ticket here or he goes to jail but the only thing in the world he has left is his dog and he cries on the phone that either way he will lose his precious dog. I want to beat up the mean social worker who made my little brother cry. I want to fix this and rescue him and his puppy. Mostly, I want to turn back the clock and find that little boy and hug him one more time because I can't fix this, I can't help and it's far too late for rescue.