Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Put on Pants

Brutal; adjective: Savagely violent; punishingly hard or uncomfortable; direct and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness.

Grope; verb: [No object] feel about or search blindly or uncertainly with the hands; [with object] (informal) feel or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, esp. against their will; noun: An act of fondling someone for sexual pleasure.

Transfer; verb: Move from one place to another; move to another group, occupation, or service; change to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey; make over the possession of (property, a right, or a responsibility) to someone else; noun: An act of moving something or someone to another place. 

Put on Pants
My brother committed suicide a few years ago.  The details are emotionally brutal.  My sadness is evident.  I am surrounded by people who have not had the tragedy happen to them.  I wish sadness was easily transferred to the trash and discarded leaving only happiness, but it is not my reality.  My conversations with my mother used to include updates on my brother, if either of us had talked to him or wrote him in prison.  Our conversations are void of him now and we do not have much to talk about. 

My mother is a lively talker. We talk about the weather and shopping at Macy’s but it is the same jaw jacking  we would talk about to anyone else on the transit.  In my last phone conversation, my mom finally asked me a question I have never heard her ask me, “How are you?” She actually stopped talking and sounded concerned.  I told her I was good.  I rarely share details of my life with my mother, we are distant not only because she lives over twelve hours away, but also because we have never been intimate with our feelings.  I used to hate the distance, now it really does not matter.  Our emotions in conversations are like two people covered in oil, groping for a stronghold to keep from slipping away.  I know she would listen if I talked, but I no longer wanted to talk about the subject that used to join us.

I miss my brother.  We were close.  I was closer to him than anyone and most of my life he was in prison.  I think I might have set up his Facebook  page for him.  I am, of course, his only Facebook friend.  I do not know if he ever logged on.  I posted and tagged his pictures.   I login to Facebook  everyday not to catch up with friends, but to say hello to my brother.   It is weird, some days his face is the first one I see of the little box that previews my friends. Other days he is on chat.  When he is on chat, I send him messages.  Sometimes they are short, “hello.” Other times I spew out long paragraphs or news I think he might like to know.  My great- aunt died last week and I messaged my brother to look for her.  Silly, I know. 

One of my great aunt's fondest memories of him was when he was four or five and she visited us, we had very good manners, and she remembered he would knock on her bedroom door and yell out before turning the door knob, “Are you decent?”  When he was young he had a sweet voice.  My brother was always charming.  He was well liked.  I like to think my brother and great-aunt are having a laugh together as she tells him about  when I came to visit last year, and her sister called ahead of us arriving and made a joke to “be decent and put pants on,” because guest were coming over.  My father made sure to carry on the joke and ask in the door before we entered, “are you decent?”

I miss my brother’s voice and his laughter.  I know he is making my great aunt laugh.  I called my grandmother who is in snow today and told her to visit me this weekend.  I would take her to the beach were we share memories of her sister and my brother.  “Grandma, come to the beach with me, it will be 76 degrees out and we can put on bathing suits and no one will tell us to wear pants.”  We both laughed, and my eighty seven year old grandmother said, “Someone might!”  Laughter will get us through this time of grief, but I cannot guarantee I will always be wearing pants. 


  1. hugs it's extremely hard to lose a sibling. I'm so sorry this happened to your family.
    condolences on both your losses

  2. Good post and a good example of how humor is used to express grief. Careful and well written.

  3. I can relate and it is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is an excellent piece of writing. (I say this because it reminded me of the piece I wrote but in a different way. So you might be encouraged to have a look.) You talk about your and other feelings and we share the pain but are still no wiser to the facts. They don't matter because the emotion is everything.

  5. DP, I'm so sorry. This is a sad and beautiful piece. *hugs*