Friday, February 18, 2011

My brother from another mother

I have a step-brother named Jay who lives in Michigan, my Dad's son from a previous marriage. I assume he's still alive -- a Google search of his name brings up a court appearance a year ago, where he got fined $1,000 & spent a day in jail 4 what sounds like a domestic violence incident. That sounds like him, & the age & location is right.
My Dad thot he might be dead, or in prison. Neither of us know 4 sure. I don't really WANT 2 know Bcos it would take me back 2 somewhere I don't want 2 be. I haven't heard from Jay in almost 35 years.
He lived with me & my family 4 almost 9 months back in 1974-75, when I was 15 years old. He taught me a lot when I was at an impressionable age -- most of it bad. I'm sure my parents wouldn't be suprised 2 learn that the 1st few times I smoked pot it was with Jay, under pressure, surrounded by people I didn't know & didn't feel comfortable with, & all it did was give me a headache & make the power-line poles along the side of the road come at me in slow motion during the ride home.
But despite the ugly temper he got from my Dad & the fact that he got all the girls, there were times when Jay was actually fun 2 hang around with. He was a big music fan 2 -- but it had 2 B the right KIND of music, stuff he could get stoned 2, mostly: Black Sabbath's 1st, Rare Earth's ONE WORLD, Foghat's 1st, Bob Dylan's BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, Pink Floyd's A NICE PAIR -- most of these on bootlegged 8-track tapes. (Remember 8-tracks? Remember cheapo bootleg 8-tracks? You could get them at any convenience store for awhile....)
He had pretty good taste in cars, 2. Ghod knows I had no objection 2 Jay picking me up from highschool in a '62 Impala Super Sport with big wide tires on the back & the radio blaring. It sure beat walkin'.
Later he got this huge old "ticket-me red" Dodge panel van that dated back 2 about 1952 & got about 3 miles 2 the gallon. You could sleep in the back, there was MILES of space back there. But there was NO insulation in there, it was just a bare metal shell with a coupla benches along the walls, & it got COLD in there at night. ...& when the local cops 1st saw the van, the 1st thing they did was pull my brother over....
The girls loved him. With his long dark hair & dark complexion & big nose, & a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his short-sleeve shirt (at age 17) -- he looked like a hood. He had no trouble attracting attention & getting dates. While I was lucky if I could squeak out 2 words 2 any attractive girl my age. I could see how it was gonna be real quick-like. We still had some good times, tho we were very diffrent people. I was the obnoxious, innocent, worthless Little Brother. The girls hated me -- unless I could pass on a message 2 have Jay call them.
I was pretty innocent when Jay came along, & somehow stayed that way 4 a coupla more years. But he taught me a lot thru example, most of it bad: How to treat women badly, how to lie & take advantage, how 2 steal. When we were just hangin' out & workin' on his car & staying close 2 home, or going out 2 the Meridian Drive-In 4 a night of movies with the girls, it was all good fun.
But he dropped outta highschool, he couldn't hold a job, he'd clash with bosses. Money was always tight, & he couldn't leave the house without gas money, & with no job there was no gas money. So we started stealing gas. In the late summer we'd just cruise around neighborhoods at night & take gas cans outta open garages or outta the backs of boats.
This seemed pretty ballsy 2 me, the few times I did it or helped Jay do it. 1nce I remember grabbing a full gas can outta some1's garage & breaking in2 snorting laffter as I walked down the street carrying the can -- I couldn't believe innocent little law-abiding ME was doing this. & then Jay ordered me in2 the car Bcos the light had come on in the garage behind me....
The group of girls we hung-out with -- all Jay fans, of course -- often coughed-up gas money or helped scrounge 4 gas cans, just 2 have his company, just 2 get outta the house & have something 2 do.
We never got caught. It was a long time ago, & I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out on this stuff by now.
But Jay started staying away from home more -- weeks went by when my folks didn't know where he was. I assumed he was hanging out & getting high with his friends whose names I'd never bothered 2 learn. & meanwhile, things escalated. Jay came back 2 the house when no1 was home, & took money. Much later I learned he'd broken in2 the home of 1 of our friends & taken anything he thot he might be able 2 pawn-off.
When Jay crashed his car thru a big cube-shaped electrical junction box, the power company called my Dad, because Jay was still a juvenile. The damage was estimated at a couple thousand dollars. & when Jay came home the next day, my Dad THREW him up against the outside wall of the trailer we were living in & SCREAMED at him.... & Jay went back 2 Michigan the next day.
My Dad & I don't talk about Jay much. Last summer Dad said he'd heard Jay had done some prison time, then after he got out he seemedta B heading in a good direction when he got in2 an ugly motorcycle accident that supposedly burned most of his face off. He hadta have plastic surgery & now apparently looks completely diffrent.
Why am I telling you all this? Not sure. I think about my teen years a lot, but I don't think of this period 2 much, cos I did a lot of stupid things. I was an idiot. A 15-year-old who thot he knew everything -- don't they all?
What outrageously stupid things did YOU do while growing up?


Perplexio said...

The girl I dated before I met my wife had an older half-brother she had never met. She explained that her father had been married when he met her mother. I'm not sure if there was infidelity involved or if he'd gotten a divorce but after he left his first wife he had little or no relationship with his son from his first marriage. Thus my then-girlfriend only knew of his name and his existence.

drewzepmeister said...

At the age of 15? Oh God...Putting it mildly, I was rather a wild and crazy teenager with a thing for partying and getting into mischief. Let's see, got tangled with the police a couple of times, smoked weed and did stupid things. Not too proud of it.

I'm older and wiser now and I definitely mellowed with age. On top of that, I don't need my 13 year son repeating the same foolish mistakes I've done...