I have four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. I have siblings who span three fathers and two mothers. We’re a mixed bag, and I’m sure that is no shock to anyone. I like my mixed bag, I think it’s an unavoidable part of me, and while we are mixed, we are a lot the same.
My other three are mostly central to home, but all different and interesting in their own way. I can only imagine what they’d write about me if they cared enough to sit down and put a pen to paper. Unluckily for them, I have nothing but time today.
I’ll start with David, six years younger, and couldn’t be more unlike me if he tried, which he doesn’t, because that’s his thing, effortless in approach to life and ability to never have a bag of fucks to hand out. I admire that most about him. He is a sweetheart, a warrior in his own way, and I spend a lot of time regretting that we haven’t spent much adult time together.
David is artistic in a way that I’ll never be, with the ability to create beautiful items, lighthouses and rock walls and fireplaces that dreams are made of, made with his hands, with his bodily strength admirable and subtle, with a tan so golden, it alone proves easily we have some sort of different genes, but we are alike in many ways.
We are more different, though, in his ability to see the world more simplistically, his tousled and woodsy chestnut hair, his love of appropriately placed but ill advised zoo creatures branded to his sides. I could never have a jaguar and tiger gracing each of my sides as he does, as they would disappear somewhere in the jungle that is my stature — best described as hobbit meets inner tube, but David has a torso for days, coupled with a disposition and resilience that will forever keep him happy go lucky — that, and his thirst for wild turkey by the gallon, one or the other.
Then there’s Tiffany, three years younger and surely wiser, the more self conscious, immaculately dressed sister who never had issue with her studies or her responsibilities in life, one of the only ones (the only one) who performed as expected, but seemed bored with each accomplishment, probably because she was bored being so successful with so little dramatic flair.
Tiffany is the voice of reason, the stoaic one, the bread winner, the one who has probably watched the rest of us for a decade and rightly exclaimed, what in the living fuck, but said with a yawn, because she’s always a distance away, and never involved, by her very own doing.
She does come with her own complications, though, those of distrust and boredom and indifference. She won’t discuss those with you, though, because she’d rather laugh you off and then buy a designer purse and grab sushi. Those are things more her style.
Then there’s Ryan, a million years my junior, who while I’d like to remain impartial, makes it so damned near impossible. He loves all things Republican. He lives to harass and pick and his dream woman is probably Sarah Palin and I’ll stop before the amount of gagging I’m doing kills me. We don’t agree on anything, I haven’t seen him in a lifetime, and to avoid further parental disapproval regarding my opinions, I’ll leave this child here and stop searching for adjectives.
And then there’s Katie, also three years younger, but forever trying to keep me alive and functioning and well, somewhat normal.
Katie and I are the only children from the same parents and so it would make sense that we split the parental gene pool. She got the long legs, nappy hair and athleticism that I can only admire from a bar. My legs are short, my hair is luxurious, my ability to comprehend physical activity as pleasure, non existent.
She has a love and passion for science and a healing and nurturing nature that is downright frightening to me. She has tiny ring fingers and a big heart and the ability to dead face an enemy that one can only wish to master with decades.
And then there’s me. I would guess that I would be described as the loud one, the fighter with or without a cause, the short and stocky one, the one that couldn’t bail the rest out because I’d probably already be inside.
I broke our parents in to assure a seamless and easy transition from teenager to adult, something no one has truly ever thanked me for appropriately.
I oversaw fist fights and screaming matches that were of Rocky proportions, and participated in a few of my own. I babysat nights filled with Nintendo game pads and I tromped through the same forests, in the same mud, under the same sun, to sleep under the same covers, under the same roof, and I survived childhood with the same tales, but surely distorted.
It’s funny though, because one day, along the way, we all just woke up to different dreams, and we chose different lives. And we look different, speak differently, and answer to very different causes.
But. They are me, I am them, and while you can pick your greater family, you do have to respect the one you have. I am so lucky to be challenged and supported by my tiny tribe. I love them fiercely, judge them thoroughly, and miss them sadly most days, and most importantly, they are mine, and when I’m old, I’ll have all the material I ever wanted to ruin them, all with the mere swipe of a pen and a glimmer of a decade where no one was attractive and and the biggest reason we had for hatred for each other was the notion of a tattle.
Because of nothing else, being a sibling is about payback, isn’t it?