The Times They Are A Changin’


Recently my brother visited me for four days. That is what inspired me to write this blog. First, as always with my verbosity, I want to tell you about my adolescence.

I was never really the cool kid in school. I was a social butterfly and the class clown but never that guy that went to all the parties and ended up with the best looking girls. No, my life was nothing like all of my favorite John Hughes movies but it was actually fun. Although, I feel badly for individuals who say high school “was some of the best times in my life”. Yikes!

If this were true for me, I have a feeling I would be severely depressed; just all the time. I had a core group of friends who were just as wild and crazy as me. The first two years of our friendship, my two best friends and I used a camera that my mother got me for Christmas and we used it for everything we did. Sometimes we would just be driving and then turn it on and sing along to these songs. Most of those songs were angry hip-hop or rock songs lyrically depicting fighting or talking about women; really this was just an outlet for our teen angst. Then it caught some more extreme stuff.

At one point I had a Nissan 200sx…I’m 6’6″. If you know the car you are probably laughing at me right now and I can say for sure that every time I stepped out of that thing I looked like I was getting out of a clown car. On that car was a spoiler and one night “Mike” decided to jump on to my spoiler and I took off into the night. I remember looking into the rear view mirror and seeing his face light up in the tail lights, it was actually one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen and haunts me even today. A mixture of fear and elation, anxiety and happiness and the lighting making his brow look pronounced and his eyes darken; creepy right? After that we decided to make that a game, so we filmed it the next time. This time with a little s10 and my two friends took turns hanging on the back while I documented it.

During the tape we thought we were rebels and geniuses; people whom no one would ever really understand because we were too complex. “Mike” used to be really into the Anarchy symbols but what he called Anarchy most would call him being an a-hole (sorry for the abbreviated curse! PG right?). I hadn’t seen that tape since we last recorded it 11 years ago and recently I had it made into a DVD. Mike and me watched and we came to the conclusion that we were idiots. We could barely keep a straight face or look at the TV. Mike had an extremely high voice back then and was regularly thought to be a woman whenever we went through drive ups (still happens every once in a while today) and so Mike would ear-muff himself every time he would hear himself talking.

That was a decade ago. Now, Mike is probably going to work with cancer patients and I will eventually try to get into screen writing or teaching mass communications….yes, me a teacher. The point of all this is how greatly it contrasts with my little brother. It was so simple for me. We would be crazy and wild and have fun, simple. Lex came and, as we were driving around, we talked about a lot of things and he was just joking around but then he really got into some inner onion type stuff. Telling me about his sexual escapades, smoking weed, the fact he may be a teenage alcoholic (not true by the way) and he is 17. The entire time he was telling me this I was having a dilemma in my mind

Umm so he is telling me all of these things and I feel like I should call the Betty Ford Clinic or something. On one hand I am his big brother and I am supposed to be cool but some of the things he has done I have never even heard of

(He tells me about his sex life)

Oh God! I seriously don’t want to know about this. This is excruciating! I wonder if he would notice if I undid my seat belt and jumped out of this moving car because that would actually be less awkward.

That thought went on for two hours as he divulged horrors of an unspeakable level. I mean, I am 8 years older than him so I vividly remember his birth. I remember when he used to crawl around and I would lay on the floor and he would climb on my back and drool that cold baby spit on my neck. I mean this kid spit a lot, just a little drool factory but it was gross-cute because he was a kid. I also remember he thought it was hilarious when he was around 4 to chase me around the house after having a bath…while he was butt naked. My mother would be toweling him off and he would be giggling. I took that as my cue to hide in any room. I feared a four-year-old and his nudity. When he did this my mother deemed him Monkey Man. It was terrifying.

Now this child, whom I got into fights with because we matched wills in his “why” stage, when every answered question was followed up by a “why?”, now, he is telling me these things and I feel out of place. What do I do? Well, I came to the resolve that, whether he was telling the truth or not, he just wanted to have someone listen. So, I did. Every last sordid detail I listened to and in the end, I realized that maybe it wasn’t as simple as I thought. Maybe my adolescence is such a distant memory that those types of problems got lost in the cracks somewhere. We spent the next days together and I did feel closer to him….but I would still use germ-x after every time we shook hands.

– Chris

6 thoughts on “The Times They Are A Changin’

  1. I remember my brother coming and telling me something bad he’d done, and being the only one he told. It was a weird moment, actually having to be the older brother. I convinced him to tell mom and dad and everything worked out, but again, odd, though good for us.

  2. My older brother came to me one night when I was 16, going on 17 (OMG, the song won’t stop in my head now!), and he was 22, about to get married to his first wife, and spilled god knows how many secret thoughts and fears he had to me. I remember staying up super late, talking to him through this window thing that served as a partition for the rooms, watching him cry and open up, and I spent the next day in utter shock. I mean, this was the guy that picked on me all the time, beat me up, called me names. But, at a time when he just needed a friend, he came to me. It’s one of the strangest, uncomfortable memories I have, but also, one of the best.

  3. I’ve also got a younger brother who’s about 18 now. He’s spent most of his high school time living abroad while I’ve been in college so we haven’t really talked much since we were kids. He’s back in the good old USA for this summer, and I’ve had so many of those awkward moments when he’s telling me about girls or parties or all his old friends that became drug dealers… It’s disorienting and somewhat uncomfortable, but I guess he couldn’t stay being my “little brother” forever.


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