Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Do Not Talk to My Brother

I'm going to tell you a secret--at least, a bit of trivia that my brother will not tell you--and that is this:

My brother and I are on speaking terms.

This has not always been the case. In fact, for the first few years of his life, my brother didn't really talk to anyone. Several years of speech therapy and many more subsequent years of talk later, you'd never know that my brother, once upon a time, relied almost solely upon his big brown eyes, shrieks, and the occasional catchphrase to communicate his every need.

However, my brother is also a big fan of talking AT you rather than WITH you. I think this is mostly because he is concerned with such extremely specialized matters that few people are erudite enough to converse fluently with him. Furthermore, he has gathered and memorized a massive amount of trivia and will spout same at the drop of a hat. This gets old. He is also known for making up his own statistics. This also gets old. And finally, he has a disadvantage in the area of reading social cues, so it's naturally a little harder for him to converse.

But... and this is not public information... when the rest of my family leaves the house, my brother and I start to have discussions. Oh, yeah. Even lengthy ones. (I don't know exactly why we pretend we don't speak to each other when anyone else is home, but we don't.)

In these discussions, I will express interest in John Williams' music. He will ask me my opinion on cinematic matters and make eye contact, to boot. We have talked about his future in vague terms, and he agrees with me that he needs to learn how to cook. We just talked for a substantial length of time on the thematic structure of Ratatouille, contrasting it with previous Pixar films. It was enlightening and enjoyable. Furthermore, my brother will get so into the conversation that he won't pay attention to anything else he is doing. Which means that I can easily coerce him into washing the dishes... as long as I check to make sure they actually get clean. He doesn't have a second thought about doing mindless chores while talking to me--in fact, he doesn't even have a FIRST thought. There are so many benefits of secretly being on speaking terms with my brother.

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