consanguineous \kon-san(g)-GWIN-ee-us\, adjective:
Of the same blood; related by birth; descended from the same parent or ancestor.
Only one of my eight half brothers and sisters actually speaks to me. When I found out about all of them about a year and a half ago, I tried to develop a relationship with each of them, but most attempts failed for one reason or another. It's just really, really hard. Of course.
My younger brother Brandon and I were both born in the same calendar year. I was born in January. He was born in August. He says it makes us "Irish Twins" even though technically Irish Twins are children born in the same calendar year by the same mother; we share a father.
"Bring!" "Vibrate." "Text from Brandon." Click...
"Happy thanksgiving B!! What are ur food faves??"
"My food favs for t-day? Or in general?"
"White meat and stuffing...Thats all I really need. What about you?"
"Mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Yum."
"Haha not a pumpkin fan."
"I only like it on thanksgiving. And with lots of whipped cream."
So now I know on Thanksgiving he likes white meat and stuffing. And he knows I like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. With lots of whipped cream.
And that's actually a lot more than I knew yesterday. And everything more than what I knew two years ago, when I didn't even know I had a younger brother Brandon who is my sort-of Irish Twin.
He's a Marine. He seems like a nice guy. Doesn't sleep around but falls for girls hard. Is that a weird thing to appreciate it a sort-of brother? He sent me shot glasses from Japan with fat sumo wrestlers on them when he was based there about a month after we wrote our first letters to each other. He's a runner like me. He's actually a legit runner. Small and lean and skinny and ran track in high school. I'm slow and tall and chubby. But we both love to run and we discuss our distances and times and workouts at times. Sometimes it feels like he's the exact same person as me, just a guy and just with a different mom. We are both sarcastic. And...
We seem to have figured out how to become friends. He came up once with a buddy from their base in North Carolina. The only time I've ever met him in person. I was already out drunk at BlackFinn with friends. I was sitting outside smoking a cigarette and all of a sudden he was there. And I knew. From his pictures and because I knew. We all did shots and talked of nothing of consequence. Me and him and our two friends went back to my parents house and the boys passed out in the basement. They were gone by the time I woke up. I called him and said: "I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to, you know, really talk." "Next time," he said. "This was good."
And he's right. One text at a time. One get-to-know you factoid at a time. No more and no less. No pressure and no expectations. A hello here. A "happy thanksgiving" there.
It's going to take a long time to make up for a lifetime without each other. But I'm thankful he tries. I'm thankful he's my brother.
Happy thanksgiving and cheers, T.