200 miles just to learn

The only time Rob and I ever had a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion was the night before Aaron’s wed­ding, when we were the last ones up out of the grooms­men stay­ing at my house. Aside from that, I wasn’t sure if I’ve ever con­nected with him on a per­sonal level; I’ve been dis­cov­er­ing how dif­fer­ently some behave when oth­ers are around, and with Aaron or Mel in the mix, he’s got even more to prove than usual.

But I could always tell that under­neath the brash and indomitable impres­sion he gives the world is a wis­dom not shared by many. It was exactly that kind of aware­ness I was look­ing to be in the com­pany of, so I took the chance to visit when it would be just the two of us. Even though we’re so dif­fer­ent in so many ways, it turns out the things we have in com­mon are more sig­nif­i­cant, and I dis­cov­ered he’s exactly the kind of friend I need right now.

photo montage

 

The man-cave mostly fea­tures posters of comic book heroes and car­toon fig­urines, the only pic­tures being found in a lit­tle frame next to the com­puter. It was strange to see two of myself in there next to one of him suck­ing back a beer with Trevor. That was back when I rocked my hair with a part down the mid­dle and occa­sion­ally some solid colour, though I don’t remem­ber any­thing about it oth­er­wise — a strange anom­aly in a per­son with a pho­to­graphic mem­ory. Lost the hoodie, still have the coat, won’t be caught wear­ing those glasses again.

The only other peo­ple who have a pic­ture of me in their homes are Aaron and Alex. I always take those pho­tographs as a telling sign of your rela­tion­ship with some­one. It means they care enough to want you around even when you’re not there. I guess that’s why each of them have more pho­tos of me than both my par­ents com­bined, and why Rob calls me brother.

changing dressings

 

The nurse comes every day to change the dress­ings and keep an eye out for infec­tion. Aside from the list­ing hob­ble, you’d never have an idea of the pun­ish­ment this body has borne under­neath, until a wince when the tube drags against his shirt. That and the fact that there isn’t a bot­tle of Blue in his hand. Otherwise, the acci­dent didn’t change Rob at all. He’s still the happy-go-lucky, take-it-on-the-chin kind of guy. To him, the world has always been sim­ple, an equa­tion that can be solved with mus­cle and mass, and he car­ries both answers in spades.

Under any other cir­cum­stance, I’d hate him. He’s obnox­ious, stub­born, and proud; a type I don’t get along with. But I’m also on his good side, which means he’s loyal and lov­ing unlike any other, and he shows this every time he squeezes the breath out of my chest until I’m weak and com­ing up for air. Through him, I’m learn­ing to under­stand and accept the peo­ple I’d oth­er­wise turn away from.

3 comments

  1. well gee i wasent aware i was the poster brother for tol­lorence lol.
    ya im loud and brash and act like a fool most of the time oh and dont for­get i lie .…sorry exag­ger­ate and a mil­lion other bad qual­i­ties but id like to think the good out weigh the bad by far. as a brother you get to see the me that i am with­out the world watch­ing the kind love­ing guy who feels more then any­one can know and would die for his friends and fam­ily and you are both. i hope you had a good time down here i know i did that said you keep alot of your­self hid­din and was hope­ing to get a lil deeper with you my insight can be help­ful and refresh­ing peo­ple just lose focus on that with the vul­ger lan­guage per­haps next time brother remem­ber my door is all­ways open and im all­ways here to talk or help cuz thats what fam­ily is for

    • It’s not that the bad out­weighs the good, it’s that I don’t even notice the things in you that would nor­mally bother me. I’m never annoyed, when I’m sure that in other cases and with other peo­ple, I would be.

      Maybe cause that’s also the kind of friend I need some­times. How many other peo­ple could embar­rass them­selves just to make me feel less embarrassed?

  2. true im billy madi­son in a nut shell loud and­crude but will­ing to pee my pants for you

    you aint cool inless you pee your pants”

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