Back about a year ago, my brother was informed that his company was shutting the doors to the store at which he was employed. I was already planning on moving back to Midland to help with my mom, and having a house with three bedrooms to myself, I proposed that he room with me. He doesn't want to give up smoking the herb, and re-employment would put him in jeopardy of a drug test; so he decided to take me up on it. Now, you must bear in mind that he is fifty years old and still earning not even double minimum wage, so he is at a severe disadvantage in the available funds category. Now my brother has been smoking since he was twelve and drinking since he got to Austin in his first year of college. Thirty years he has been struggling with his demons and he has not had to try to grow up yet. He has made a living out of stocking groceries and drinking and smoking for thirty years and sees no problem with his choice of lifestyle....yet.
Well now that we are here and I have gotten to experience first hand how lazy and self-centered he is; I am having some serious problems accepting his mannerisms. I am no asking him to change his ways (which he should), but I refuse to come home everyday and work my ass off trying to make a home in my house, just to be frustrated with a roommate that thinks he doesn't owe anybody anything. He is the stray I took in to my home. He has made it a point in his life to avoid responsibility for thirty years and now it is catching up to him. And he has told me that he will continue doing as little as possible to get by while trying to enjoy life on his terms.
This is where I wish I could see more of someone in my life that I don't get to see much of. My brother is smart, he can write well. He has volumes of work he has written that is very good stuff. Yet, he claims that he wrote it for himself and doesn't want to publish it or put it out where anyone else can see it. And that is a shame, because he has talent. He is quick to tell anyone willing to listen just how smart he is, yet he has not made the choices or put in the work to secure a comfortable home to grow old inside. He is the proverbial grasshopper. And all the rest in our family are the ants, and that bothers me.
So what follows is my letter to my brother, the stray, whom against my better judgment, I have taken into my home.
My brother, Marshall;
it pains me to write this letter. It is not fun for me at all, and that says something, for I like to write. You are older than me and you have made it a point in your life to avoid authority. When I was young, you would skip breakfast and leave the house early just so you could smoke your drugs and be away from the watchful eyes of mom and dad. As soon as you had graduated, you left for college. The University of Texas at Austin accepted you and let you enroll. However, you wasted their time and resources as well as your own time and resources. You found that life was funner when you were dealing drugs and getting smashed everyday around the campus instead of finding a good career with which to finance your life. Now your days of youth are spent. Your time in the sun is running short. Your body is racked with the scars and damage from the things you chose to pursue in life. And now that your body is old and worn out, you have nothing, nowhere and no one to turn to in your waning years. Yet, you continue to look for he easy way out and having thought that you found it, you are back to the selfish, self-centered ways of doing what you have to and no more.
I will not stand for it. I will not carry you on my back until you are in your coffin. I will not allow you to enjoy my hospitality while you share none of the burden of the responsibilities to acquire the house and surroundings which you take for granted.
Just as mom had no problem kicking me out of her house, I have no problem kicking you out of my house. You say that it is not fair and I agree. It is not fair that you chose to be the grasshopper and now you think that we owe you anything even though you strove to not be a part of this family. You chose to isolate yourself because none approved of what you were doing. You did what you wanted anyway. Now you get to lay in the bed you made for yourself.
Good luck and I will see you when they bury you. I will leave for you at your grave exactly what you have given to your family over the years, nothing.
your brother, Stu.
(My) Life is a Battlefield
2 weeks ago