Tuesday, August 28, 2007

slightly better

I don't want to jynx myself, but I feel like something's getting a little easier with my brother. Not sure why or what changed, but today he seems less rigid, less uncomfortable and slightly less obnoxious.

Last night, fresh from our post-camping showers, we headed off to Portland's legendary Tiki lounge, the Alibi. Adventure Girl, who LOVES the Alibi, picked us up and came along. I desperately wanted someone else to help either draw him out a little or at least entertain me. She tried to draw him out, she asked him some questions and tried to start conversations, but he let them all fall flat. "How do you like Portland so far?" "It's better than bein' home with my crazy family." "What did you think about the coast?" "It's different." "How's your burger?" "Almost gone." Augh. These are shitty answers to questions.

So she ended up entertaining me, and that was helpful. Then she brought us home and I left him alone to go visit SK who is staying at Dutch's house for the remainder of Alex's visit here. I left him watching a Monty Python DVD on my computer and I figured he'd be fine. I'd only intended to go for an hour but I ended up staying the night. I was sleepy and SK was so warm and cuddly, I just couldn't resist the offer to stay. I sent him a myspace message to let him know about the change of plan and I went to bed very happy with SK.

I woke early, having been conditioned these past few days with Alex to wake at 7. I got back here before 8 and found him already up and in the shower. At ten we headed over to OMSI for the Body Worlds exhibit. I'd been wanting to see it for awhile but I have to say, it wasn't as awesome and amazing as I imagined it would be. I don't know what I expected. Sure, it was cool. Maybe too cool. Maybe cold. I was looking for the people under the "exhibits," any indication of the individual whose insides I was looking at. I looked for little places where the skin had been left on, I looked for hairs, hair follicles, pores, fingernails and toenails. One body wore gold toenail polish.

The one thought I had, over and over, was an awareness of a kind of eternal weariness. I looked at each body, so meticulously posed, and I thought "those muscles will never rest, they will always kneel/stretch/hold the javelin/lift the torch/etc." I walked through wanting rest for all the bodies, which isn't something I would've imagined.

We left and I took him to eat lunch at Pho Jasmine, my favorite Vietnamese place in town. It was still early when we left Body Worlds, so I drove us around awhile just to kill time. Alex is diabetic and tends to keep himself on a very strict eating regimine -- to eat lunch before noon obviously makes him anxious. I drove all over SE Portland and wound us back up towards the north. Miraculously, he started actually making observations about the houses he saw, the things he liked. He volunteered opinions that weren't phrased like dorky jokes or sarcastic commentary. And when we ate, he actually said "these salad rolls are good, I like the peanut sauce." You coulda knocked me over with a feather.

So, today is a good day. And I go to work at 4, so it will only get better...


Blogger south carolina girl said...

he seems a lil socially anxious. maybe not knowing you so well over the years he is just now getting comfortable.

4:15 AM  

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