Archive | 3:45 pm

Big Brother Little Brother

9 Apr

I was going to write a blog about being assigned a Little Brother and having comic hijinks with him, but then I remembered somebody else had already done that.

I quickly realized that, if I didn’t want to go through the trouble of typing a new title in the title bar, I’d have to come up with something new that also utilized a brotherly tone. Maybe something like…

This joke was too easy. I don't deserve your laughter.

Sitting at my desk, looking out over the parking lot/late-night asphalt bathroom, it suddenly struck me: I too have a brother–a little brother–and he isn’t McLovin.

I call my brother on the phone.

“This is Nick.”

“Hey man, what’s up?” I ask. I can hear Nick sigh.

“Do you need more money?”

“What? No!” I say, smiling and embarrassed.

“Do you need more money, Kyle?”

“Nick, I’m just calling you to see how you are and to see if you want to come spend some time with your big brother.”


“Yea. You want to come hang out?” Nick seems a bit dumbfounded but, after a moment, responds.

“Sure, man. Sure. I–I’ll be at your place in a few.”

“Oh, before you go–” I say.


“Thirty dollars. I could use thirty dollars.”

Another sigh. “I’ll stop by the ATM.”

Nick arrives half an hour later. My brother Nick is tall and thin. His face is made up of sharp features that lead their way up to eyes that always carry a kind of heaviness. Also, they carry tissue scarring because of that time I threw a box of tacks at his face.

He steps out of his car. I walk out to greet him, my steps making crunching sounds as they pass over the dry Texas grass.

We greet one another and go to our first activity.

“Have you eaten lunch?” I ask from the driver seat. I’m sitting on Nick’s lap while he drives.

“Eh…” Nick, trying to see around me, emits a grunt of frustration. “Man, no, but can you please just sit in the passenger seat? I understand that you want to be closer, but this is incredibly unsafe.”

“Love is incredibly unsafe,” I respond, looking deeply into his eyes. “Even brotherly love.”

Nick doesn’t respond. He just glances up at me warily, his eyebrows furrowed. He must be nervous about how much he loves his bubby, I think. He’s afraid to open up because he’s afraid I’ll hurt him. I look out the windshield, thoughtful. He’s afraid I’m going to throw more tacks at his face. I carefully remove a box of tacks from my pocket and throw them out the open window. Nick smiles, his expression showing gratefulness and relief.

We reach McDonald’s.

“We’ll have one quarter pounder meal with a Dr. Pepper and a Happy Meal with an orange drink.” I smile to myself and look to Nick, who is waiting at a booth at the side of the restaurant.

Our food is brought out promptly. I take the tray to our booth and set it down in front of my brother.

I take the quarter pounder.

Nick surveys his food. “This is all the food you got me?”

I smile at Nick, adoringly. I say nothing.

“Is this all the food you got for me? Kyle, I’m a grown man. This isn’t nearly enough food. Listen, I don’t mind getting myself some more, I just need to know if there’s more on the w–”

I reach out and rest one finger on Nick’s quarrelsome mouth. “Quiet now, little bro. Eat your meat cookie.” I hand him his tiny, child-sized burger. “After you’re done, I have a big surprise for you.”

Nick seems nervous, but he’s always been kind of a pussy ever since I tricked him into grabbing that electrical wire, so I ignore him.

After the meal, I lead Nick by the hand through a series of doors, making sure to remind him to keep his eyes closed until we reach our destination.

“Are we there yet?” he asks.

“HERE WE ARE!” I yell. Nick jumps back, covering his face. “No, Nick, you’re okay,” I say, reaching out and pulling him forward. “Just open your eyes.”

“The ball-pit.” Nick says flatly. “You took me to the–damn it Kyle! I’m twenty-one years old! I’m three feet too tall to even step foot in the play area.

A small crowd of laughing children scurry by us.

“Go play with your friends, Nick!” I command, smiling, filled with false exuberance.

He exhales, his shoulders slumping. Eyes downcast, Nick slowly walks into the play area. As he approaches the circular opening to the pit, I call out to him.

“Nick! Your shoes! Take off your shoes!”

With a look telling of great pain, Nick turns around, takes a seat on the plastic steps leading to the opening and removes his feet. After he’s in his sock feet Nick struggles into the much too small opening. I hear a deep thud that must have been his head. He crosses onto the ledge overlooking the pit. He looks to me balefully, then falls limply into the pit.

No more than two minutes later, the McDonald’s manager comes out and asks Nick to get out of the pit. We’re escorted from the premises.

Nick isn’t answering my phone calls.

I love my brudder.

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