expletive, prose, writing

Brothers.

“I’m not mad anymore you know ? Time has passed, I’ve understood things. I’m a walking contradiction I know that. But then again, what can I do huh ? I need to learn how to let go, and to make sure I’m the best possible version of me I can be. That’s what they said. I’m not sure I understand every ounce of it but, I’mma try, you know me.”
I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying, I was trying to look serious and focus when what I was really doing was watching that cute brunette that was sitting to our left, and who had been eyeing me ever since we got here. I even managed to smiled at her, once or twice; I could feel an opening.
“You sirs are ready to order yet ?” I hadn’t heard the waiter coming.
“Oh no not yet, bring us two more beers will ya ?” John said.
The waiter went back on his way to the bar, moving silently. He was so thin and tall, you could almost see through him, like a ghost. And his pants were definitely too large for him, he looked like he was dressed with a parachute wrapped around his legs. For a moment there I had this odd impression that he was simply floating around, not really touching the ground. He came back, and put the beers on our table.
It was a typical Tuesday : the sun hadn’t made his mind yet as to whether or not he was going to shine bright, there were some clouds resting here and there, but the day looked good nonetheless. Most people outside were walking with a purpose, bumping into one another like rocks in the ocean, some others were driving their cars, sometimes honking their horns for no real reason except that they were pissed at themselves and they hated the world, and they needed a way to get rid of those feelings. A bus passed in front of the restaurant and I saw a large group of people crammed into that tin box. There is a reason why I have always hated buses; it just defies logic to me. Most of us still have two legs to use, and all this space around us to walk and explore, and yet we cram ourselves in small and disgusting places. None for me thanks.
“… but you know in the end, I think she made the right call. I mean, I can’t blame her really. I’m such an asshole …”
John was still talking, and this time I had no idea what he had just said. I figured the subject hadn’t changed and just went with it.
“You fucked up. That happens to everyone. Now get your shit together and make up for it.” I said with my most profoundly moral tone.
I have known John ever since I was two and he was three. Neither of us had any siblings, and I guess in some sense we both meant that to one another. Through thick and thin, he was my brother. He was also a repentant drunk who was now four days fresh out of rehab, with a slight gambling problem. He had a girlfriend, well, that was complicated as to now, but they had a baby together; Maria. She was barely thirteen months old, and yet the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
“How can I do that? She won’t talk to me.. She won’t let me see her… It’s my baby as well god damnit !”
” Show her. Stop fooling around, get a job, get some money. Show her you’re a responsible guy. She’ll come around eventually.” I had no clue as to what I was saying, I mean, he was knee deep in some serious shtick. I had had my fair share of mistakes and moronic behaviours as well, but boy oh boy, I never went that far. He was on another level.
John didn’t go to rehab willingly, he was sent there. I remember it was a Sunday night, and I was asleep on the floor next to my bed – that’s a long story – when the phone rang. I picked it up and mumbled something.
“Can you come over to look after Maria ?” she sounded frantic, I can remember that well.
“Wha’s happening? ‘mething wrong ?”
“I need someone to watch over her while I do the paperwork.”
“What? What paper..”
“Will you come or not ?!”
“Hum, yeah. Be there in five.”
I hung up, got dressed and left. By the time I made it to their flat in the west end, there was an ambulance parked before the building. I knocked on the door, and nobody came to open so I let myself in. John was sitting, his head in his hands with a nurse talking to him softly. On the other side of the room, she was standing near the craddle, stabbing John with her glance. At that moment, I realized he had screwed up, big time. You see he’d dropped her; Maria. He was playing with her, drunk, and he simply dropped her on the ground. They told me that. They also told me the baby was going to be okay. But when I took that little turniphead in my arms I felt so angry, so mad at him. I thought about choking him out. I thought about killing him with my bare hands. After a while, they took him, and I was relieved.
Ever since he got out, echoes of that feeling have been striking me and at times, for a second, I want to strangle him. I don’t understand how you can still behave selfishly when you have the responsability of another human being. Another second, and it’s gone. I hug him, he offers to grab a drink, I say yes. He fucked up, but that’s all right, that happens. He will make up for it.

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