Minimally aware I had a brother, or that I even existed for a good portion of this time period. When I wasn't busy shitting myself however, I somehow found the time to get angry at Mike. My earliest memory involves him, along with some furious rage.
Ok that might've been a bit of an overstatement, but let me explain.
We were moving from Alton, Maine (where you ask? Exactly) to Waterville, Maine. I was a baby, something like fifteen months old I believe. I only remember a few brief seconds, but these involved looking at my surroundings, noticing a car, a big ass awesome truck, my parents, and what's this? Who's this other tiny person? Hmm, he's riding in that big awesome truck. Well I look forward to joining him shortly! Hmm, no wait mother, you've got it all wrong. No, I shouldn't be riding in this honda civic, clearly the fun lies within that other car, you know, where the other tiny person is. Wait, hey..HEY! I WANT TO RIDE IN THE TRUCK WITH THE OTHER TINY PERSON. WHO IS THAT OTHER TINY PERSON?!?! I SHALL SMITE HIM!!
I don't remember anything else. But, I hear I did not enjoy the ride. Once we arrived, my parents couldn't have me crawling around getting stepped on while moving heavy furniture, so they put me behind a gate in the living room. Here is a picture you may recognize.
All the while I was presumably still wondering why I didn't get to ride in the big truck with my brother.
Life proceeded normally for awhile. At this point I obviously was aware that Mike was my brother, and not just some dude that happened to be around a lot. Siblings tend to get along at this age, and for the most part I remember it happening that way. I would occasionally ask him what the next grade was like since he was one grade above me. He provided me with not much helpful information if I can recall. You see, I am an analytical type of person, while my brother is much more of a "fuck it just go with it bro" type. So while I slowly and nervously adapted to my new surroundings when moving to new grades and schools, my brother seemed to take it all in stride.
"Mike, is 4th grade at the new school scary?"
"Huh? I dunno, maybe? "
"Well what is it like?"
"Pff, I dunno. I don't remember."
As you can see, our very different personalities were starting to become evident. Soon we each found the other to be a total son of a bitch.
At this age, we were the epitome of brothers that didn't get along at all. Let's go over the differences.
So, to sum it up, I was a scrawny picky eater band kid that didn't like sports. You may expect someone like that to get along great with a hulking mass of strength that didn't like any of the same shit, but you'd be wrong. We fought verbally and physically all the time. Now, since I was clearly in the lacking strength department (not so much anymore, ladies) I had to be strategic when fighting. A few techniques I remember from over the years:
Getting a full 360 degrees of punching momentum before making contact.
Punching him in the throat. (Ok that sounds terrible, it was kind of an accident.)
Throwing a full glass of water in his face, slamming door, running.
Running some more.
That whole throwing water debacle ended with me running downstairs, outside, and up the street to avoid his wrath. Even after he gave up chasing after me, I waited outside in the street at night for several minutes, while barefoot, before cautiously returning. But hey, I didn't get smacked that night.
A few of his techniques included:
Towel whipping me in the balls.
Completely overwhelming me with his size.
That second one pretty much sums it up. If I was within swiping distance, he could always easily grab me, and just lie on top of me until I submitted. This is what led to my previously mentioned evasive maneuvers.
Complete turnaround. I'm not sure when how or why it happened, but we have gotten along great ever since. If I may get sentimental for a bit, it seems to stem from taking each other for granted at a younger age. You spend so much time with the other that not only do you see it as a given that they're always around, but you sort of end up hating them a little.
But later on, he moved out, then moved to a different state, I was off at college etc. We were both going through some rough shit, and realized we could talk to the other without being judged, something that can be difficult to do even with your closest friends. So aside from the occasional spat, we each stopped hating on the other. Now, we both like the red sox, and share a lot of the same friends. It also helps that he is fucking funny as shit.
He's lost about 70 pounds since then.
All from the beard.
|He's still got his eyes on my ice cream though...|