brotherly space

The latest installment of *The Peter Chronicles*:

I haven’t had contact with my brother for several months now.  As much my doing as his.  Sometimes I just need a break from the insanity.  Sometimes I just can’t tolerate hearing the gory and stupefying details of what passes for his life.  I just need distance.  I can’t listen to him and his nonsense, his excuses and his absurd aspirations, his delusional dreams and pathetic plans.  I can’t.  I just can’t.  I feel like a bad person.  But I can’t.  I’m all about helping those in need, meeting folks where they are, less judgment, journeying with others and all that happy haughtiness.  It pains me that I can’t be there for my own brother.  But I’ve needed this break.

When last I’d heard from him he was waiting for his windfall of cash and his teeth to come in.  That last conversation being the proverbial straw that severed what was left of my longanimity with his absurdity.

Not long after that I heard from his only steadfast friend, a lovely and simple young woman with a clearly compromised intellect, who has been in love with him since forever.  She called to tell me that Peter was in jail again.  {shocking, I know}  He only calls her when he needs something, usually money.  But she doesn’t see it quite the way I do.  She sees his calls as him turning to her in his times of need, the one person he can be vulnerable with, his rock.  Or something like that.  Anyway, this time he called her (collect) from jail asking for her to post bail.  To the tune of several hundred dollars.  She had about one-seventh of it.  She was asking me if I had any money I wanted to chip in.  As if I work two jobs so that I have an extra few hundred dollars to literally throw away.

She tried to persuade me by telling me that Peter had cried on the phone and it broke her heart.  Bless her.  If he didn’t come up with the bail money he was going to have to spend weeks in jail waiting for his court date (because he has a history of not showing up to court dates) and God only knew what that would do to his fragile personage.  It wasn’t his fault.  He didn’t do anything.  He was picked up accidentally, out of the blue, a case of mistaken identity, on a warrant or some such thing, for unpaid parking tickets or the like, from the year 1999.  Really.  Honestly.  He is an oppressed victim of the system.  I cut her off.  Yes yes, I know.  Poor, pitiful, Peter.  Always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Doing nothing whatsoever.  Just bad luck.  And all that sort of rot.  As for the money, sorry, I don’t have an extra few hundred.  She pushed me, “not even one hundred?”  Sigh.  If I had extra money I wouldn’t have to tell my children we can’t afford the fancy individually-packaged yogurt that changes color when you stir it.  (note: I’d still tell them that, because that shit is gross and loaded with chemicals.  But I wouldn’t have to).

Anyway, Peter spent the two plus weeks doing whatever one does in jail while Jen used what little money she had to make sure he still had a room at the sober house and keeping his*canteen* funded so he could buy himself flip-flops for the shower – those prison showers put the *fun* in fungus.  She ran around, making phone calls, ensuring that his *benefits* would not be interrupted by his unavoidable hiatus from life.  And the time passed.

I heard from mother.  She was, all at once, hysterical, depressed, angry and outraged at the system for so mistreating her child.  As well as outraged and angry that she had a child who merited jail time.  He called her as often as they allowed, through the prison-collect-call system (I believe they charge some outlandish price for those calls, with most of the inmates calling their mommies, who pay the 12 bucks a minute to hear about the poor treatment and the misunderstood misery of good boys falsely accused).  She bought his fictions hook-line-and-sinker, believing that some over-eager clerk trying to move up the career ladder found Peter’s unpaid parking ticket from 1999 and convinced the lieutenant that the interest on those charges could buy the station its own Keurig.  They dispatched a squad car and found Peter sitting home weaving lap blankets for the local nursing home.  They hated to bring him in, but, you know, the siren-call of fresh-brewed coffee.

If I sound irritated, It’s because I am.  It’s very frustrating (at least for me) to care about someone who doesn’t help himself.  Someone who takes no responsibility for his own life.  Someone who cannot seem to stay one hairsbreadth on the right side of non-criminal behavior.  I mean, for the love of God, how difficult is it to simply not get arrested?!  As you can see, I’ve seriously scaled back my expectations.

Peter’s interregnum of incarceration gave me a much-needed break, but clearly not long enough.  He didn’t even try to contact me after he got out.  According to Jen he got off with “time served”, which means supposedly those pesky parking tickets are all paid off by his taxpayer funded furlough.  I hope the cops enjoy their Keurig.

I guess Pete felt as if he’d let enough time pass that he could fairly safely call me without too much threat of a lecture.  He texted a one-liner, “Hey sis” and called a few times.  He left one or two messages, also brief.  When I didn’t answer or call back after a few tries, he left me an angry message.  He didn’t need a house to fall on him to know I was ignoring him.  How dare I ignore him!!?  Well fuck me!  Sigh.


About halitentwo

i am. god is. we are. as soon as i write something about me i change, am different, evolving. i am trans. i am a parent. i am a partner. i am a human. i am attempting to live a well-lived life in the spaces in between, beyond definition, fluid, dynamic, omnifarious and always changing. hopefully growing.
This entry was posted in brother's keeper, feelings. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to brotherly space

  1. Pat says:

    It is difficult to describe what one feels when they observe the wreckage of what was supposed to be their family. Nuclear strength cognitive dissonance….just to start.

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