I was planning on rewriting this whole story, but I'm not sure... this is what I have so far, it's mainly the back story and some of it overlaps what's up now, but I wanted to attach this just to see if anyone prefers this version or the old one. Tell me what you think, your opinion is highly valued. Or just enjoy the clip :)
Have you ever loved and hated someone equally?
If you haven't, let me tell you, it's a real bitch. When you love the person you hate, every fleeting thought and emotion becomes an ethical debate. For instance, you want the one you love to succeeded and flourish in life, but at the same time, your hatred demands their abject suffering. It's exhausting.
Right now I am in love/hate with my brother, Erich Varela.
Now, of course there is all the usual brotherly love/hate that every younger sibling must feel, but to be clear, that's not what I'm talking about. The type of hate I'm referring to is unrequited incestuous love. Judge me if you must, but first let me explain, you may come to find some pity in understanding how I fell into this sweet misery.
When I was very young mom and dad had left Erich and I at Auntie Brenda's for the week. They were always leaving us with various relatives in those days. I didn't know it then, but it was because they ran a small business that had them traveling often. To me it just seemed like they didn't care for me much. The only person who ever seemed to care was Erich, who was always right there with me in the same situation.
Anyway, one night there was an awful storm, looking back on it now it seems like it must have been a hurricane, but I can't be sure. The wind was howling furiously, the rain beat against the roof and window like pelting bullets. I feared any moment the window of our room would shatter and cut me to ribbons. And it was very dark, I don't recall if it was dark because the electricity was out, or if my six year old mind just concluded that the sun was never coming back. The only light came in a blue/purple flash every count of thirty-Mississippi, casting brief shadows which appeared to move.
I was terrified. But I looked over at my brother who, in the midst of this awful storm, was sound asleep. At first I felt jealous that I couldn't be as brave as him and just sleep through it. Then it washed over me all at once. I was terrified of this storm, I didn't like this Auntie, I missed my mommy and daddy, and now I felt like a baby beside Erich! I couldn't help it. I began to cry. I don't know how long, or how loud, but feeling so alone and in despair, I just wished everything away.
Then I felt my brother stir beside me and he wrapped an arm around me, rolling me over easily as if I was a rag doll. He pet my hair back, kissed my eyes and checks, started whispering things to calm me down; just those sweet lies everyone says to calm a frightened child, but to me it was like he was saving me from the storm. I felt so safe in his arms and my loneliness disappeared.
I began to wish everything away except for Erich. I wished that it was just me and him in the darkness forever, just like this. That's when I knew that not only did I love my big brother, Erich, but I was in love with Erich Varela.
Over time my parents' business had flourished, and with things steadied out they had the flexibility to be home nearly all the time. Despite this happy new development, my brother and I remained pretty close. Every day with my big brother seemed like a wonderful dream. He continued to care for me, always watching if I should make a mistake, like not tying a shoe, or forgetting to eat lunch. I suppose I was a little carless as a child. And he was always there to protect me. No one dared to pick on Eric Varela's little brother.
Things were great all the way up until the end of middle school, but that's when things began to change. Erich was a couple years older than me, remember, so when he graduated on to high school I was still stuck in middle school for a year. That year changed everything. If you have an older sister or brother you may already know this part of my story.
At first, Eric would tell me all about high school, he'd talk about his friends, his enemies, the teachers and the work. He enrolled in the schools Medicine Track, for students with the skills and desire to become a medical student beyond high school, and he joined the basketball team. But over a few months he began to become preoccupied, either busy with school work or on the phone with his friends.
We were growing apart. I could feel his absence. It was torturous.
I began to become clingy and in response Erich became more impatient towards me, and eventually he began pushing me away. Suggesting it was time I make my own friends… time I grew up a little.
Part of me knew he was right, and I tried, I really did, but there was the knowledge. The growing secret I didn't yet fully realize. Why would I want, need anyone else when I had already met my match?
By the time I graduated into high school I was practically out of his picture. He all but ignored me.
But I got lucky, we had a couple classes together and ate lunch at the same time. I'm not sure if it was an old nostalgia on his part or if I was just that insistent, but he let me sit next to him, or behind him, in the classes and at his table during lunch. I found out quickly that he had become pretty popular.
He was always so charismatic. I think it was in his voice, he had that scratchy kind of dark voice that just sort of instantly captivates, you know? All the girls crushed on him. Which was no wonder, with our Hispanic heritage he had a permanent tan, eyes the color of burnt oak with inflections of gold. And his hair was such a dark brown that most people would call it black, but I knew better after all of my years studying it. He loved to gel it up and brush it out so that it defied gravity all day, just the right length to be boyish and yet stylish. And basketball kept him thin with wirery muscles that seemed to thicken as he got older. He kind of fell into that jockey-prep stereotype, but it worked for him. Even the teachers loved him. He always had the right answer, did his homework, studied, and kept his grades up. I had already known that Erick was perfect but I just never fully realized the scale of it until freshman year.
During that time I had begun to console my loneliness with art. I enjoyed sketching and increasingly painting as I learned techniques over time. I never really got into sports, and although I was technically thin I developed a little pudge around puberty. Like my whole family I had the permanent tan, but on me it was dusty looking rather than glowing like Erich. My hair was a little lighter; I thought of it as "shit-brown" and kept it short because I wasn't a fan of that particular shade. My only saving grace physically may have been my eyes, they were more hazel than brown, so the same gold flecks Eric had didn't stand out as much but instead tainted the iris green. They weren't as nice as some, but I guess it could have been worse.
Eventually, my Guidance Counselor put me into the Liberal Arts Track. It focused on all things artistic in nature, including poetry/fiction, world studies, music courses, and (my main focus) art studies. My parents didn't seem too happy about it, but I knew that it was my best choice. They had argued that I should follow my brother into the Medicine and Health Track, but that was all math and science based, and those two subjects were not my friends. Otherwise my options were either the Progressive Home Studies Track, which just encompassed some financial training into home making; and I wasn't ready to announce my faggotry like that. Or, there was the Applied Engineering Track, which focused on handy work, for those bros that wanted to be construction workers, mechanics, etcetera; but that stew of sweaty brine seemed like the lion's den for someone like me.