Nightmares and birthdays

My little brother turns 40 tomorrow.  40.  How the hell did that happen?

That kid in the bunny suit looks a little psychotic.

40 seems like some sort of milestone.  Like I should be writing a post about balloons and cake and chicken suits (xanax clan inside joke) and growth and maturity.  But it’s Halloween….and tomorrow will be Dia de los Muertos.  So here I sit thinking about spiders and dead ancestors and zombies and toilet papering my neighbor’s house.  I don’t want to write about birthdays; I want to write about nightmares.

Coincidentally, some of my most vivid nightmares have involved my little brother.

The first bad dream that I can remember happened when I was about six.  In the dream, I was holding my brother’s hands and swinging him around in a circle so fast that his feet lifted up off the ground.  You know, the kind of thing your uncle or your grandpa might have done to you if you grew up before a time when parents were warned about this sort of behavior by experts who are always taking the fun out of life.  I was swinging him around so fast that his whole body was parallel to the ground.  We were both laughing hysterically when suddenly, both of his arms pulled out of his sockets, and he was carried away by a gust of wind.  I was left holding his two arms in my hands.  They looked remarkably like giant Vienna sausages.

See, I told you he was psychotic.

I had another nightmare involving my brother just a few years ago.  We were at someone’s house who had a very large swimming pool.  I was in the kitchen cutting oranges into slices and placing them on a cobalt blue glass tray.  As I walked out the door carrying the tray of oranges, I saw a shadow in the pool.  I got to the edge of the pool, and there was my brother’s body – floating under the water, hair streaming, eyes open.  I dropped the tray, which shattered on the cement, and shards of blue glass and orange slices lay all around my feet.  I tried to scream, but no sound would come out of my mouth.

They’re not always nightmares, but I often have dreams about my brother.  We’ve always been close, and now that he’s in New York, I miss him and his whole family – a lot.

It seems strange to write a Happy Birthday message after a post about nightmares, but I guess that’s the way I’m rolling this Halloween.  Little brother, I hope you have a wonderful birthday filled with love, laughter and lots of beer.  I hope you raid the nephews’ treat bags for the biggest chocolate bars and stay up past 9 p.m.  Most of all, I hope your forties bring you what they have for me: a gratitude for all that you have – even when it doesn’t feel like much, an appreciation of the people who make your life beautiful and the ability to care even less about what petty assholes think of you.

Happy, happy birthday.  And many, many more.


14 responses to “Nightmares and birthdays

  1. This may be my favorite birthday wish ever:
    and the ability to care even less about what petty assholes think of you.” but I’m rather fond of the vision of “I was left holding his two arms in my hands. They looked remarkably like giant Vienna sausages. Happy birthday to your brother.

  2. In my mind, I’m wearing a chicken suit right now. Maybe showing up somewhere embarrassing, like Parlato’s or 5th period algebra to sing happy birthday to the kid, who although he is 40 (and older than me), will always be my little bro. Love to NY little bro and to you as well, big sis Kristabel.

  3. Hey, thanks Skippy! The Humboldt blog family might appear to be a little dysfunctional at times, but I sure like it. Any chance you’d add a link to CCX? I just added The Sentinel. Thanks again!

    • Sure! I’d be pleased to ask The Editor… but only when he’s in a good mood. It happens. Uh, that usually happens… when he’s asleep. Out like a light. Using his cushie Tempurpedic pillow. And favorite cozy fleece blankie. Snoring like a banshee dreaming of Sugar Plum Faeries. Subliminal suggestions work best at times like these. Let’s see what we can do, Kristabel. Shhh… we must be vewwy, vewwy quiet…

        • He was, and he added CCX after slipping on his Power Rangers T and Homer Simpson slippers. That always puts him in a good mood after his first morning cup of apple juice in his favorite tippee cup.

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