Thursday, June 22, 2006

...on nine lives

...and being a better man

in keeping with the spirit of giving each other a pass for our birthdays,
i decided to drop a few dimes. i'm not going to go into the time the mofo nearly burned the woods down and tried not to tell the scoutmasters why he was walking away with a 10 gallon water jug or a time when he did a standup routine about me in front of his coworkers at a party. nah, i'm gonna tell you why he inspires me.

you see the foot note on the monsters of rock story, later on that summer or perhaps it was the following summer (i think it was the following because i had my first car back then and that thanksgiving, the shrink was giving me grief for going out one night while this was going on), the mofo got leukemia. we thought he had lyme disease but he had leukemia. and it changed the dynamic in the house forever. long story short, he beats it. mofo:1, death:0. he rides it out with a brave face.

flash forward: mofo is 27 at the time when he feels a nasty pain in his chest. checks his pulse and has the old lady take him to the doctor. he thinks it's high blood pressure but it's an aortic aneurysm. he gets open heart surgery. operation is a success. mofo:2,death:0.

i go to visit him in the hospital and in all the time i've known him, he'd stare down injury with a brave face. he has the cancer, he cooley chats up the hospital staff and calls in a whopper junior to the old man. he breaks his collar bone playing football, he calmly gets up while they're still wrestling with the fumble, his arm dangling six inches below where it should be and he calmly says, "um guys, i think i have a problem here. can i get a lift to the hospital?" and he tried his best to joke in front of us with tubes sticking out of his neck. and he put on that brave face. one day while he was still in i visited him over my lunch hour and we talked and i won't get into what we talked about but, it was the only time that he lost his composure and i had to be stronger. 27 years of having the braver face of the three of us took a sick day and i don't recall if i ever mentioned it to anyone but i think about this now.

what inspires me is how this has applied to my year. you see, the bastard's marriage is coming to a close and i remember telling the nice lady i wanted to be a better man. i resolved in 2006 to be a better man. hell i resolved to do this in 2005 as well and i never could make good on it. i tried in 2004 as well and to no avail but it wasn't until thr nice lady and i separated did it start to happen. you see, i had to tell my brothers as quickly as possible what was happening so that this shit didn't come as a shock. sent one to the elder and sent one to the mofo. the elder, responded with sympathy and kind wishes and the mofo didn't respond. there was a certain serenity to the lack of response. when we filed last month, i told the brother again, once again the elder sent his deepest sympathy (he's a very emphatic guy, it's why he's going to heaven and i ain't) and the mofo didn't respond. i felt serene. you see, it's in his silence, his lack of out pouring emotion that grounded me, made me think that i needed to be stronger...better. and for that, i'm grateful.

happy birthday shiteyes, thanks for helping make me a better man. 2 down. 7 to go.

—the bastard


mofo said...

Don't make me responsible for your future jackassery!

bastard central said...

oh you ain't shiteyes. i'm just giving credit to the thought process behind it. it was either you, or some british caper flick with a car chase and a catchy soundtrack