Funny thing about a blog. You put your thoughts on-line and people read them. Not just strangers either, but folks who knew you l-o-n-g before Al Gore twisted a series of tubes into what we now know as the internet. I was reminded of this very fact today when my buzzing cell phone flashed Richard Pittman on the screen. Seems my older brother had just finished reading the previous post and wanted to give me a little grief about all my belly-achin‘. Nothing unusual there, I guess. But considering our tumultuous past, the phone call was anything but insignificant. See, Richard and I haven’t always gotten along. In fact there was a time when the two us couldn’t share the same room full of oxygen without trading blows. Looking back I think I understand why.
He's the Alpha Male to my Omega Dork. He was an undersized punk trying to find his place in the world and I was his smart-ass little brother. Is it any wonder we tried to kill each other so often? Though I didn’t appreciate it then, I now credit my bellicose older brother for toughening me up a bit. Who knows how I would have turned out if he hadn’t regularly ripped the encyclopedias out of my and hands to enact his own lesson plan: Sucker-Punch 101. To this day, if a buddy sneaks up behind me I drop into a pseudo-Ninja crouch, instantly prepared to grapple to the death - or at least until Mom yells at us from the other room to knock it off. That’s real world man training you can’t find in a book.
As he grew older, Richard’s fondness for contusions served him well. Falling under the influence of the volunteer fire department we grew up near, he embraced his genetics and emerged as a natural born first responder. Today he’s a highly-skilled paramedic and a seasoned firefighter. He drives ambulances, whereas I just chase them. But the differences don’t stop there... I blow off steam on a mud-encrusted mountain bike. He tools around town on a shiny, tricked-out Harley. I stick my lens in the faces of the oppressed. He scrapes them up amid broken glass and administers IV‘s. He keeps his cool when others are bleeding to death around him. I lose my shit when one of the live truck gadgets fails to work as advertised. I suppose I should end this post by telling my big brother that I love him. No need. He knows. I just wanted to clue the rest of you in.