Let me catch you up, breathless as you are for more fascinating news.
Last night my dad and my brother met for our nearly-monthly family nights out – spouses/partners left home. We had a good time. I had a good talk with my brother. He had said at Thanksgiving that ever since he could hear he’d heard that I resented him for being born and for taking a bit of my mother and father’s love from him. I can’t say that I didn’t make him feel that way, although I understand why I did. I wish I hadn’t. What a burden to have.
Somehow my brother never showed that he was as bothered by it as I was, at least he never showed me. We were never close; we were five years apart in age and utterly different in interests and personality. Five years means we were only in the same school for one year, my sixth and his first grade.
And he always made me afraid, and jealous. Afraid of him because when we’d fight, he hit harder, believe it or not. Or first, or faster. I never, in a childish, self-centered way, considered that I might affect him, either through physical or verbal violence. All I saw was my perspective.
And he could annoy the hell out of me.
And afraid for him because he always seemed more reckless, more driven, more prone to take risks than I was. Than I am. When he was told to get better grades, he refused until he wanted to, despite the punishments ineffecutally rained down on him by our confused parents. They were confused because generally, I did what I was told. And my rebellion was deeper and darker and better hidden than his. He lived in all sorts of conditions I’d never consider because they seemed unsafe and he had so many jobs. I’ve had the same employer since 1983. Am I happier for it? Dunno. Less unhappy. But I’d be willing to bet I knew what it feels like to be financially secure and boxed in at a much earlier age than him. I’d be willing to bet, but not much. Betting’s risky.
I think I was jealous of that drive in him, as well as any scrap of attention he got that I, in my accountant’s way, couldn’t balance with a scrap of attention I got. There are so many things that he’s able to do, due to doing what he wanted (and a favourable home environment, of late) that I may never do. I may never have a job I love. I bet he will. That makes me sad for me, and jealous of him. Maybe envious is a better word.
Of course, rectifying this is my responsibility. Who knows how?
And I’m not moaning, not really. My life isn’t so bad. Just smaller than I ever thought it would be. Perhaps everyone’s is. You tell me.
Anyway, I wish I’d known my brother more, before
The Baltimore Nine
A young woman was attacked and beaten half to death on a Baltimore bus the other day. She was punched, kicked, and dragged off the bus. Her travelling companion was also beaten but not as severely. The perpetrators were all middle school ‘kids.’ (Or little savages. Take your pick.)
Now it may come out that she provoked the kids. As if that were an excuse. But she might have. One of the little monsters’ parents accused her of spitting at one of the children. Which apparently exonerates her offspring. The police have found no evidence of provocation. No court in this country accepts an insult as an excuse for physical violence.
But the incident’s being investigated as a hate crime.
Which is odd, because the victim is white and the perpetrators, the Baltimore Nine, are black. I can’t say for sure but it’s not far fetched to assume that if a black young woman was beaten similarly by a gang of little white savages, there’d be a bit more hue and cry in the media. Al Sharpton would be hogging every camera he could get his pomaded hair and face in front of. Thousands of keyboards would be pounded into plastic powder with laments about the lingering racism still prevalent in our power structure.
But if a hate crime is wrong, surely it’s always wrong. And if somebody’s race is never an excuse to hit them, surely it’s never ever one.
This woman is not responsible for the sins of our country’s past. Just possibly guilty of riding while white.
I hope that everyone who was shocked, shocked! at the Jena Six wring their hands as mournfully if this turns out to be a hate crime. It’s too late for the candlelight vigils. Nobody bothered with that. I don’t really blame the shrill set for not saying a thing about this inconvenient incident. Once it’s been ordained that group X is the victim, group X is only the victim for ever more. And of course fear of crime is often a respectable veneer for plain old racism. But it sure would be nice to see some balance in the responses.
We’re going to bid goodbye to Henri Castelli as our mini-obsession with two visions of his loveliness. It’s hard to tear ourselves away from him, isn’t it? I do love his beard. Click for a closer look. You won’t be disappointed.
But we’re not quite finished with Mr. Ponce, and here’s a sneak peek of our next mini-love. Do you know his name? He looks happy we’ve chosen him.
(How else could we put a grin on his handsome face?)