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.


  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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