Mike gets his groceries and chats with Deidre, a girl who used to ride his bus. She makes quite a point of letting him know how old she is. He thinks she’s attractive, but doesn’t want to get involved with a much younger woman.
I made the grocery delivery and went back to my place for a nap. It was still snowing and I had to wonder if Halloween trick or treat was going to be postponed. I put away my groceries, set an alarm for an hour and lay down on the couch for a nap. No need to mess up a perfectly good bed. Besides, I’d sleep too heavily if I went to the bedroom and not sleep at night.
I slept heavily anyway, with very erotic dreams. I couldn’t see the woman involved very clearly, but God, could I feel her. It was a very tactile dream. I could feel her skin and smell her perfume. I never had a dream that vivid before. If I ever met that woman, I would know her by her scent. She smelled like fresh flowers, sunshine and pure seduction. I woke before my hour was up, jizzed all over myself. Not my most favorite way to wake. Cussing like crazy, I decided to take a shower. I had intended to wait until after cleaning the sidewalks, but a glance outside told me that the snow hadn’t stopped yet.
It wasn’t even 2:00 and the sky was dark. Halloween festivities canceled, I was betting. No one in their right minds would let kids out in this mess. I went to check on the ladies. They were both at Molly’s and wouldn’t open the door for me. I had to stand on the porch freezing my freshly laundered ass off. Figuring they were plotting a birthday celebration, I went back home and made myself a bowl of popcorn while I watched Grandma’s Boy on DVD. I was dozing off again, the popcorn forgotten on my lap, when my phone rang.
“Hey, Mike!” My brother, Gabe. He never even waits for me to say hello. He assumes I want to talk to him, which mostly, I don’t.
“Gabriel, hi.” I hoped I didn’t sound as unenthusiastic as I felt.
“You got company or something?” He sounded curious and somewhat disappointed.
“No. I was catching a nap. Didn’t have to work today, it snowed.” I realized what I’d said and wanted to kick myself in the balls. I’d told Ma I was working.
“Oh. Um. . . Well, sorry. Thought maybe you’d got lucky.”
I laughed rather rudely. “It’s like 4:00 in the afternoon here, Gabriel. I haven’t had time to get lucky.”
“Well, I called to wish you happy birthday, bro. I got hung up at work. I got promoted, more responsibility.”
“That’s great, Gabe.” How does every conversation always turn into being all about him?
“Ma says she told you our big news.”
“Yeah. Congratulations. Four kids, huh? Big, happy family.”
“Yeah. . . . I’m worried about you, Mike. You need a girlfriend. More than that, man, you need a wife. Someone to take care of you. You’re not a kid anymore.”
“You make me sound ancient! I’m twenty-seven, not Methuselah! You’re only a couple years younger.”
“And I’ve got a career and three kids now. I have a beautiful wife and a big house. You’ve got an apartment and a Jeep.”
“Do we have to do this? It’s my birthday. I’d like for once not to have to get the I’m better than you are lecture.”
“Is that what you think this is?”
“Gabe, that’s what this always is. You and Ma tag team me and tell me what loser I am. Then you go to bed at night knowing you’re better than me. I hope it makes you feel good. Really, I do. Cause this is the last time I’m listening politely. I’m not your bitch or your whipping boy—I’m your older brother. I taught you how to drive and shave and chase girls. I introduced you to your first girlfriend. I told you what to do when you finally got laid. I’m the guy who got you drunk and stoned for the first time—and you’re lecturing me like I’m a three year old.”
“But see, Mike, that’s where your head still is. You’re still the cool older brother getting his little brother high and laid. When are you gonna grow past that?”
I sighed, shaking my head, and hung up on him. I don’t know what made me do it, but I couldn’t continue that conversation. I was too damn tired—and, if I’m honest, kind of depressed.
It had finally stopped snowing. I got my snow blower out and cleared our porches and sidewalks. For the next hour, I didn’t think about anything but how glad I was I lived so far from home. If I was in the City with my family, I would be in Bellevue by now. I don’t much relish the idea that I’d be crazy, locked in a padded room, because my family is dysfunctional.
My phone rang again. This time it was Molly.
“Happy Birthday!” She said loudly. “I need you to come over and open a jar for me, Mike. This cold weather has really got my arthritis acting up.”
“Sure, Molly. I’ll be over in a couple minutes.”
© Dellani Oakes 2014