Chapter 41: “Sibling Rivalry: Round Two”
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WARNING: This chapter features some vulgar audio clips from my past.
My nomad status returned during the month of March, akin to my brother and I’s younger selves as a divorcee’s child. It was hard not “reminisce” shuttling between Dad’s, Mom’s, and the apartment. I knew I had to be happy and spend as much time with everyone as I was physically able. I mean, after all…
I WAS HOME! FOR GOOD!
But the connections were there. We threw a massive party, just like the event when we were released back into our Father’s care after our foster run.
My brother and I rarely got along while staying at Lori and Todd’s, but I had hoped that after this deadly ordeal, our fighting days were over. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Dad bought a new computer (a tower Dell), so he gifted me (and vicariously my roommates), the old all-in-one that Dell essentially ripped off from the multi-colored iMacs, replacing it with “Office Space Grey.” The unipod came in handy during our extremely boring moments at the apartment. We began recording random things with the PC’s built-in microphone, and its bare-bones Windows Recorder app.
First, it began with our favorite movie and television quotes/ sounds of the past ten years.
Bumblebee Tuna | Chewbacca | Claude (Along Came Polly) | Fat Guy in a Little Coat | Mr. Mackey | Cartman | More Claude | Deuce Bigalow | The Cable Guy | Scary Movie 2 | Liar Liar | Dumb and Dumber | Strong Hand | Skiis | Spongebob Squarepants | MadTV |
But as the month went on, we began to record random (and/or vulgar) original pieces. *Note: That doesn’t mean “Good.”
And of course, the bizarre real-life catchphrases my friends and I created over the years.
But it was one, in particular, that would really piss my brother off. I called it “Travis Jazz,” and it was this morbidly obese character’s vocal undulating in a unique way (hence the ‘jazz’ moniker). I used to employ this effect to upset him in general, but when I recorded it for the entire world to see, and then named it after him, I must have set him off.
I cannot recall if that was the tipping point, but it was certainly a factor. See we grew up making fun of each other; that’s what brothers do, but sometimes the air got emotionally charged and we would fight. Even after my whole near-death ordeal, we still found a way to fight. In fact, one night, we had a fight over this very audio file below (actually, he deleted the original), and we began our typical scuffle.
Jamie Jazz (The alliteration worked better anyway)
Our fights followed a formulaic pattern: First, one brother would hit the other.
Then, the attacker would see the rage in the other’s eyes, and they would retreat and let them go (in order to prevent retaliation).
Next, the other brother’s rage meter would build, and the victim became the aggressor. The cycle would repeat itself back and forth until one of us could have finally broken the chain and walked away.
This one was rough, though. A couple of Travis’ classmates (and my friend Mitch) were over, and we began to push one another against the wall. As Travis would recede, I’d attack, and it got more violent than it had ever been between us.
I was so weak, having just recovered from my last chemo course a week ago, and so when he slammed me against the kitchen cupboards, I was unable to move. I knew at that moment, that this was all on me. Any damage I incurred couldn’t be blamed on my little Bro.
The on-lookers tried to break us up, but it was no use. Once we get into a fight like this, one of us had to stop. The next thought popped into my mind: I probably shouldn’t do this to my weakened body, but the anger was coursing through my veins like a dangerous steroid.
I haven’t the faintest clue as to why we fought so vigorously after I nearly died and over it, bonded. It could have been that the habit was hard to break or maybe we were just happy to be able to resume our relationship at “normal” levels with all of the bells and whistles– er, Beats and Wallops.
Eventually, I was the one to break the chain. I pleaded to our newfound connection, and it worked. Travis sat at the kitchen table and I leaned back against the very sink at which I had been pinned.
We both heaved to catch our breath. Mitchell and the rest were understandably shaken. Their friend had just survived cancer, and he decided to pick a fight with his stronger, “bigger” brother.
I apologized to the audience and went over to hug my brother. We had some work to do in our relationship, but I was positive that we could overcome our demons in the past and mature. When Shawn and Tony came home later, I told them of the battle, and they laughed. “Jesus, that’s insane!” “You’re telling me! I wish we got it on camera!”
What could I say but agree with them? This was only a bump on the road to recovery, and to a second chance at a better life.
…One that didn’t involve bar-brawl level scuffles.
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.