Yesterday I was presented with an unusual opportunity which I wasn't sure I wanted to accept. My BB (Big Brother) called to say he was in a nearby city, visiting from the west coast.
Mind you, I come from an odd family, a truly dysfunctional one which unraveled completely upon the death of my mother many years ago. My brother and sister were teens while I was a toddler, and they both moved out before I was 7. I hardly knew them, since, even before they left home, they were always "out galavanting" as my parents would say.
To this day, I hardly know my brother and sister. I hadn't seen either of them in years, until last night, that is. After The Child finished school we hit the road to meet up with BB. It was dusk by the time we arrived, and observing the dark silouette of BB, I recalled the time when, at around age 3, I fell backwards down the wooden stairs in my parents' house for fear that BB, who was 6'3" even when I was 3, would chase me down the stairs. I still have the scar on my head.
BB had never met The Child, so the focus was mercifully off of me. The mysterious BB is still scary and unknown. I remembered my mother saying he could never hurt a fly. He does seem almost shy, afraid of offending, yet people have always liked him. Opposite of whirlingbetty, he has always been popular. I had told The Child in the car that he'd probably like his newfound uncle, because everyone else did.
BB seemed oddly youthful. He's very good-looking, and seriously, he appears younger than when I saw him last. His yoga instructor girlfriend could have something to do with that, or it could be because of the pact he made with my sister: when she was diagnosed with tongue cancer, he said he'd swear off drinking alcohol until she recovered and he could share a drink with her. This was probably the first time I've ever seen him sober.
The visit was necessarily short: The Child had school the next morning, and I'm going back to work this week. BB doesn't talk much when he's sober, but in the restaurant he did express concern that the corn chowder I ordered wasn't enough to sustain me. (I wonder how he thinks I get by when he's not around.)
I observed BB whenever I could steal a furtive glance. His big blue eyes and wavy hair look much like The Child's. He looks peaceful, content and settled. His latest girlfriend suits him well. He looked as if he had his act together for the first time ever. I wish my mother and grandmother who had so adored him could have seen him last night.
When we first arrived to meet BB I had been nervously babbling about needing a flashlight in my car. I was just trying to create distraction, and I quickly forgot all about it. But after we left the restaurant, BB walked into the nextdoor Rite Aid and bought me 4 flashlights and a package of batteries.
With tears clouding my eyes on the long drive home, The Child asleep in the back seat, I wondered what BB had thought of me.