If I could remember a time when things were happy, it would be a vague memory of my oldest brother running around the house with me on his shoulders, encouraging me to reach out and touch the ceiling. Or quite possibly when my same older brother would tuck me in very tight at night making me feel safe and secure from any lurking monsters behind the closet doors. Odd that my earliest recolections of tenderness both occur with the one man who became the most frightening person in my adult life. Even at the foot of his death bed I had a sense of fear instilled so deeply in me that I was certain this weak, near dead, man would lunge at me and hurt me, but he never did, he just stared back at me with those eyes, too weak to even speak, his eyes told the story of his own fears, of his own idiocy and failures. And at the very end he began to look out of those eyes with such uncertainty and fear, that only I can say, he was scared to die.
How did we end up there. How did we start from such joy and end in such despair. Id like to know before I die, but did he? When he first lost his strength, my instincts were to save him, comfort him, nurse him. While he could still talk he asked me why I was doing that? Why was I doing that when I hated him? And my response was that I never wanted to hate him, I always just wanted to take care of him. And only then on his death bed could I do that.
My sister was next, she died of a heroin overdose. The drugs that deteriorated her life and haunted her dreams. But lets go back to happy, happy times with my sister. They’re less pronounced, more dispersed. I think she always hated me. I admired her and wanted to be her, so I would sneak into her room, sometimes while she was sleeping, and take her clothes, shoes, jewelry. I was the theif in the night and she hated me for it. The time she did my hair and makeup for the homecoming dance my freshmen year of highschool. Or baking the hamburger cake. My sister was much prettier, more intelligent, sexier, cooler in everything. I was the kid sister that lurked in her shadows practicing my desperation to be her.