pages 79-81

   Sometimes I ask myself what Alex ever did for me to justify the amount of time and emotional energy being spent on editing this asshole's book. Sure, yeah, I'm doing it because it's the "right" thing to do, but when it comes to siblings, sucking it up and doing the right thing can be harder than it already is the rest of the time. Why is this? Well, I have several theories. One is that we are biologically programed to wish our siblings' demise, like that dickhead baby bald eagle on PBS who beat the shit out of her brother. She made him so afraid in his own home that he became too scared to even ask their mom for pieces of the rabbit carcass and as a result, let his evil older sister slowly starve him to death. Then she ate him, too.
   Another theory is that we see our siblings at their very, very worst, which makes it hard for anyone to do right by anyone. During childhood, who do we bother when we feel like being the most annoying? Our siblings. Who do we take it out on when we've had a bad day? Our siblings. Who do we steal from, rat out, pick on, beat up, knock down, and drive to the brink of insanity? Our siblings. And because of this, we hate them. We love them, but if we had to submit a "to kill" list, their names would be number one with a bullet.
   My last theory is less cut throat, but no less brutal. Growing up is hard. It's really fucking hard, especially if you're under the care of two emotionally stunted adults who spent most of the after school hours screaming at each other in the living room rather than engaging with their troubled teenagers. I don't know about everyone else, but there came a point in my life when I just couldn't care about my brother like I used to. Each life stage- high school, college, post college- came with brand new struggles that were equally difficult and numerous. This is not to say that I've reached some kind of secure, carefree phase of my life. I have not. But shit got real there, for a while, and no one was going to help me but me. What I'm getting at is, I needed to save myself before I could worry about my brother. I had to acknowledge that I was in no place to fix someone else when there were days I had to search the couch for change just to eat, that is, if I weren't so depressed I could actually leave the couch to lift up the cushions. The hardest part of doing the right thing for your siblings is that, at the end of the day, it's not your job to do so. You don't have the tools. Being so close in age and experience means that you can't save each other with money and words of wisdom. Neither of you have any more of those things than the other.
   Sometimes I wonder what the right thing to do would be if Alex were still alive. I couldn't figure it out when he was. All I know is that usually the right thing is the hardest thing. By that logic, it fees like I'm getting close.

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