I needed to vent my frustrations over my nighttime restlessness the other day so the original topic for yesterdays letter was postponed for now. I initially wanted to tell you how Mothers Day transpired on Sunday. It wasn’t exactly eventful but more uncomfortable and this time I don’t mean between mother and I.
I’m talking about my brother.
Originally, Mothers Day was supposed to be spent enjoying a nice lunch out somewhere but we had to change our plans because brother dear had training commitments he didn’t want to back out of. Even if it was Mothers Day. So mum decided to set lunch for 1:00pm at home with some take-out instead. And it was all going to plan until we received a happy phone call from a cousin overseas. A phone call that had us running a little behind. So at 12:55pm my parents were only just leaving to collect our order. I anticipated that they would phone my brother on their way out, to let him know they were running late, so imagine my surprise when I heard the door crack open shortly after they departed.
And that’s when the awkwardness began.
I was actually upstairs when he first arrived. My first thought was “Geez, that was quick,” but as soon as I heard his thundering footsteps echo throughout the house I knew it wasn’t my parents. And I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant. He came straight in unannounced (which is nothing short of unusual) and made a beeline for the TV.
I knew the next few moments would be extremely uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure how exactly to proceed next. With caution? Aggression? Cordial? I really didn’t know what to do, so I held my breath and made my way slowly downstairs. I had every intention of acknowledging his prescience with a simple and kind hello, however what I found downstairs was his back sharply poised directly in front me. Refusing to acknowledge me and I could practically feel the bad vibes oozing from his spine. In fact, I think had he turned around the daggers burning in his eyes would have shot straight out and hit me square in the chest. There was clearly tension and hostility seeping out of his pores so I decided to ditch the hello and instead continued past him and sat at the dining table, whipped out my cell and pretended that this was not giving me anxiety.
All in all, it was just a moment but it seemed to stretch on forever and ever.
And it must have been such a despairing sight. Two related individuals under the same roof in silence, avoiding each other with only the noise of the television and the strain of both parties stuffing the space surrounding them. I just can’t seem to help it when I’m near him. I retreat and hide. Like the predator and prey, I cower and hope they don’t notice me hiding amongst the undergrowth. Afraid of their wrath. It’s certainly not intentional on my part and I wish it wasn’t my default setting when I’m around him, but as time has gone by his constant annoyance and hostility towards me has set me into this kind of submission. I love him, he’s my brother and I wish we had that kind of relationship other siblings have. The kind were they hang out, talk even, maybe hit the town together or travel and stuff but the fact is we don’t and for reasons unknown to me. I don’t know what it is that I did exactly that offended him so. Or hurt him. Maybe I’ll never know. But for now what I can do is just get out of his way. Give him what I perceive to be what he wants; space. Keep clear of him like a servant is to their master, no direct contact or talk because that will annoy him greatly and hope that perhaps this will pass.