Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sleeping a lot, which happens when I'm depressed.   Very real possibility of losing my oldest brother. But add to it the fact that I've never known this brother all that well. Seven years older than me. He had four years to himself before the next sibling arrived, then a third a year later, & me two years after Jean. Joe tried to keep us at at\bay. Hole in the basement with a toy machine gun shooting rubber bullets at the steps.  Moved to a room in the attic, Mad Magazine inspired  KEEP OUT signs taped everywhere.  For me these discouragements were invitations. I was far more curious about what Joe was hiding than were my two middle siblings. He was hiding Mad Magazines mostly. Later he had Beat poetry, cool LPs, Playboys & some nice sport coats that fit me. I appropriated much of this stuff whle he was in the Army.

Early on I tried to emulate Joe. But Joe was trying to get attention by pushing others away. I came to that tactic later. I tried to get attention by being clingy &whiny. Youngest kid. I needed my brother Jim's broad taste in Top 20 music. His work ethic didn't catch on with  me. I needed Jean's conventional approach to high school culture, the dances & the dating. Jean had the most influence on how I made my way through high school socially, particularly as a junior & senior. But Joe gave me (or rather I stole  from him) much of my creative foundation.  I took it, packed in a rocket, & lit it, & followed the rocket.

Joe has always been able to make astute, even caustic  observations about other people, less insightful toward himself.  We're all like that, substituting confession for self-awareness. But he wasn't able or willing to express himself though music or writing, although he's had all the basic tools for doing so. I've always wondered what stopped him?  Some deep insecurities? Jim preaches & sings. Jean sings, & any party or holiday she organizes has her personality all over it.   I make poems. Even as a recluse I stick my head out of my burrow & make loud clicking noises.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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