My brother Sam is one of the funniest guys to be around.
He’s my antithesis.
Where I am the fucked up, impulsive, oscillating, bumps-in-any-road, always seeking out the most thoroughly damaged woman in the room I can non-commit to kind of guy, Sam kept the same girlfriend from eighth grade till after he graduated FROM COLLEGE. The fact that my brother got all the way through college whereas I chose world travel says a lot. I remember going through high school together, we’re only separated by a year, one month and three weeks, whenever the subject of my brother came up, I’d invariably hear the same things, “He’s such a sweet guy. He and Lisa are really great together. He’s your brother? But you’re such an asshole. Did you grow up in the same house? You guys must have different fathers-you look Asian and he doesn’t.”
Yup, even by appearance, we are hard to reconcile—he’s tall, I’m short, he’s a wide eyed curly haired thin man who can’t gain muscle no matter how hard he works at it. I’m the one who Vietnamese try speaking to in native dialect, in supermarkets, with an innate ability to gain muscles just by lifting groceries. If you put me in front of a weight set after years of lazy-couch-meal-inactivity, I’m carved from wood in days.
You get the idea.
No matter how different we are, everything we’ve experienced growing up in the same house is so thoroughly twisted into our neural fibers that we know each other even when we’re far apart. We like the same music, movies and humor. I could listen to him laugh all day long. We’ve never been in a major disagreement but if we ever did, I’m sure it would be my fault.
The same bible stories and scriptures drilled into my head as a child, reside also in the brain of this blasphemous birthday boy. Just ask him if he knows what the Breastplate of Righteousness and the Helmet of Salvation are and he could tell you the same stories I remember. You will laugh so hard you may see Jesus and he may ask you if you need a napkin.
He’s the reason I want a pair of kids and not a solitary, sisterless or brotherless child. I don’t know what the world would be like if I didn’t have Sam’s laughter echoing in my head when I’ve done something clever or stupid.
In the private audience I keep locked up in the grand theatre of my mind, he’s got a front row seat.