GPOYW: Big Brother Turns 40 Ed. Damn.
When this picture was taken, I think our father must have been about 40. A lot has changed from that 40 to this 40, like:
- Duncan doesn’t have that gap in his teeth anymore, though he still wears purple shirts;
- He doesn’t listen to KISS anymore, though he sometimes still listens to YES;
- He’s not on the wrestling team anymore, though he threatens to put on the singlet every now and again.
But most of what’s changed from that 40 to this one remains mysterious to me, because I barely knew that gap-toothed kid Dad didn’t get custody of after the divorce. I barely knew the teenager who showed up for a few days every few months to watch MTV in our basement or the one I helped Dad move into the dorm at Brown or the Buddhist who harangued me for choosing the Naval Academy. I barely knew the man on television singing “Barely Breathing”.
I have no memory of Duncan turning ten or twenty or thirty. I wasn’t there. I didn’t know that person.
But though there are times when he doesn’t make it easy, and times when I don’t, I’m awfully glad to know him today. At 31 and turning 40, we’re tighter than that pudgy little kid up there with the mushroom head ever thought he’d be with his big brother, and that makes me smile inside and out.
Love you, Dunc. Then and always and at 7:19 PM on your birthday.