Wednesday, March 27, 2013


My brother's birthday is in a few days.

Happy birthday, Curd.

As we've gotten older, we've grown somewhat apart. This is sad but also just something that happens. You're not the same person you were at other times in your life. He has his family, and it's large and takes up a lot of his time. And now, we're 1,800 miles distant. It's harder to keep dialed in.

Here are some of my favorite memories of my baby brother:

* The first memory I have is of the day he came home from the hospital. Since his birthday is March 30, I'm going to presume he came home on April Fool's Day. Just because I think that's funny. But, the first thing I ever remember in my life, is his life.
* When he was small he was anemic. Curtis looked very pasty, which is kind of odd now because as an adult he has a nice dark complexion. But we were worried about him when he was little. Now, he's a 6-6 giant.
* When we were little, we looked like such derpy brothers. It's kind of funny. For a few years, it was just us two and mom. My mom remarried, but my stepfather died when he was 47. In a lot of ways, it's always seemed to me the family was just us.
* Curtis helped me get my first stitches. We had been outside playing in a sprinkler, and when we came in, we were sopping wet. He started to tickle me when I was on a wet floor, I slipped and hit my head and got stitches. He probably doesn't remember that. I ain't mad, bro.
* By the time he was in late elementary school, he had started to flash the star quality I never felt I had. He was the star of the school play "Bye Bye Birdie" and my grandmother made him this amazing gold lame suit to wear for his big scenes. It was a scream. I grew up pudgy and shy, but he was already mastering athleticism. He would have been a great football player, and was in our backyard and street games, but he took to basketball. At the time, that was a brave path to take in football-obsessed Texas.
* We went to the same school when he was in grades 1-4 (while I was in 4-7), then again when I was a senior in HS and he was a freshman.
* It turns out, the little scammer had cut himself a car key and would take my car out at night. Brazen. I'd be mad, except I'm more impressed by how someone not old enough to drive had the guts to do it in the middle of the night.
* When I graduated high school, I thought that we'd start to grow apart. But I was thrilled when he decided to go to the same college as me. And since I'd gotten behind academically, we wound up living together for almost three years at a very interesting time in our lives. We had amazing times, I got to know him less as a little kid and more as a young man.

As we became "adults" (technically, anyway) we continued to interact as much as possible but in starting our own families, sometimes it became tougher to make that time for one another.

Nevertheless, at several important junctures in my life, Curtis has been there for me. We've helped each other move, he's helped me too many times to count when I needed a place to stay or respite from some other crisis. I like to think I've been there for him, too.

He helped me get a pretty good job once, and for 15 months, we worked at the same place. That was quite an experience, although it was probably more fun for me. Our professional styles are a little different, I think. He likes order, I seem to invite chaos. It was interesting to say the least.

Anyway, my brother is 51. Happy birthday brother...

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