My brother recently ripped out his shower while he was drunk and as a result, I now have to share my bathroom with him and everyone he has sex with. I complained about this to my mother and she told me that I needed to learn how to share.
Me: Like the Aborigines?
Me: Collective ownership of property. Plus hardships. Everybody knows that, read a fucking book.
Mum: Why are you even still living here?
My brother’s friends commentating a slide show of their exploits & deliberately discussing his sex life to disturb me
“Oh god, we were so fucked up that night…do you guys remember?”
“I remember Chris getting laid that night.”
“Oh look, it’s those two fat chicks who sat on my bike! I’m pretty sure Chris went home and had sex that night.”
“And this one was at New Year, right before Chris laid some girl. Fuck, we were drunk.”
“Oh and there’s the time we ordered all the red bull and vodka jugs… Hey Annik, see what Chris is doing to that pool cue?”
“Wait, there’s the chick I used to hook up with who had leukemia… I thought I could make her feel better. Like, fuck the cancer out of her or something.”
“Did it work?”
“I don’t know, I broke up with her.”
“Hey look, it’s the biker viking party!”
“Oh yeah! Chris had sex that night.”
My brother has been dead for nearly 4 years now. This is how it happened…
It was a dark and stormy night during my first year of uni. But I didn’t know that, because I was drunk off my guts at some underground club in King’s Cross. As is usually the way that these things happen, I found myself staring into the mirror in a bathroom at the Moulin Rouge and wondering who had smeared all my eye make up onto my cheeks.
You’re drunk, my reflection said, Go home.
And so I stumbled up the stairs, out onto the street, and realised that it was 3am (the witching hour, and also taxi change-over time), pissing down with rain, and I had lost my friends at some stage of the night. Unphased, I wandered up and down Darlinghurst Road a few times looking for a cab or similar form of transport, and trying to stay under shelter. Suddenly it began to pour. There was hail and thunder and strong winds. I realised, very abruptly, that my feet were in the worst pain they had ever experienced. I had roughly $7 in my purse, I was too drunk to write a text message without keeping one eye closed, and I was getting yelled at for loitering outside clubs.
Eventually I found a bus stop and sat inside it, in the weak hope that a bus might arrive and take me somewhere dry. Sheets of rain blew inside and soaked me as I methodically rang everyone in my phone book. All my friends were either asleep or too drunk to drive, and none of my acquaintances owed me any favours. I left a series of slurred, abusive voice mail messages, then apologised and begged people to call me back. My parents were out of town and I didn’t have any other relatives’ phone numbers handy. I considered committing some sort of crime so that I could catch a ride with the police, or throwing myself in front of a car in order to get taken to hospital in an ambulance and then tucked into a warm bed by nurses. I suddenly felt very young and small and officially fucked.
As I sat in the bus stop on Macleay Street in the pouring rain and tried not to cry, a transvestite hooker came and sat next to me.
“I’m Jean,” it said, as I shifted away on the seat.
“I make jewellery,” it added, holding out an arm full of bangles and track marks.
“Maybe I can help you get home?” it offered with a wink as I turned away and frantically dialled my brother’s number.
“What?” he answered, awake and sober.
“Chris, I’m stranded in the cross in a thunderstorm in a bus shelter with some junkie jewellery-making eternal question and there are no cabs. Please come and get me. You’re my big brother – you have to do this.”
“What’s an eternal question?” he asked.
“It’s when you can’t tell whether a person is male or female,” I explained, “Will you pick me up?”
“Nah…” he said, “I think I’m just gonna go to bed, I’m pretty tired.” And he hung up.
As I stared at my phone in disbelief, the hooker asked me whether my brother was coming to pick us up.
“I have no brother,” I corrected it, and walked out into the rain.
“Have you met Skelton’s sister?”
“Yeah, she’s like Skelton, but with long hair.”
“She has the biting wit of Skelton, and the looks he missed out on, but she’s not as tall and she doesn’t have his eyes.”
“Oh my god, have you ever looked into Skelton’s eyes?”
“Yes, they sparkle like diamonds.”
“It was like the first time I heard The Beatles.”
Every 6 months, I go to the dentist. My dentist’s name is Fred. He has an enormous belly and wears a white coat, so he resembles a giant pillow. I rest my head against his soft stomach while he peers into my mouth, pokes around, and says “You have a sensationally healthy mouth.” This takes roughly 45 seconds and $75 and then I am free to go. Every 6 months, the exchange is identical. Well, it was until this week.
On Monday, I went to see Fred for my regular check up. As I nestled my head against his tummy, he peered into my mouth for longer than usual. Then he scraped the side of one of my teeth. A mild, yet definite ache spread throughout my jaw. Fred scraped another tooth and it hurt too. He stood up and loomed over me.
“What the fuck is going on here?” he asked.
“Nothing, I swear, it was one time!”I cried uncertainly.
“Your gums are receding, girl.” Fred said.
Anytime somebody calls me “girl”, I know I am either in trouble or they are hitting on me. This was the former.
“That’s impossible,” I replied, “I’m only twenty-three. I have perfect teeth. I take real good care of them too. Look at them, they’re beautiful.”
“Look again,” Fred answered, and peeled my bottom lip away from my jaw. Sure enough, the gums on either side of my mouth were slowly wearing away, exposing the roots of my teeth, which were beginning to turn a distinct shade of dark yellow.
“What the hell is that?” I asked and Fred replied, “Decay.”
Decay? Decay was what happened to corpses buried inside coffins in the ground. It involved maggots and bad smells and smug relatives. And now it was happening inside my mouth.
“What do I do?” I asked Fred. I didn’t want to ask too many questions, because for some reason I believed that the less I knew, the less serious the entire situation.
“Put this cream on your gums at night,” he said, handing me a small tube labeled $25, “And go see a goddamn specialist.”
After I paid and left the surgery, I sat in my car and cried for twenty minutes. I hadn’t realised how much of my self esteem was tied to my teeth up until then. At that moment, my entire personality seemed to hinge on the quality of my pearly whites. If I lost a single molar, I would lose my sense of humour, or compassion, or balance.
I calmed down eventually, drove home and made banana muffins. I rubbed the cream on my gums every fifteen minutes. I googled “causes of gum recession” and was confused that none of the typical reasons applied to me. As soon as my brother got home from work, I made him look inside my mouth and inspect the decay on my exposed teeth.
“That’s gross,” he observed, “And weird. Your teeth look fine everywhere else.”
“I know!” I agreed, “They’re perfectly nice looking on the outside, but underneath they are rotten and ugly and slowly dying.”
“Kind of like the rest of you,” he replied.
- told me I was adopted.
- punched me repeatedly.
- headbutted me when he broke his arm and couldn’t punch me.
- used my skipping ropes to tie nooses and “hanged” my dolls from the curtain rod in my room, so that when I walked home from school and approached the house, I saw a mass suicide happening in my bedroom window.
- told me that I was retarded and had been inside a mental institution for my entire life. Mum and Dad were the “doctors”, my teachers and friends were “nurses” and “orderlies” or other people hired to amuse me and keep me company so I could live a “normal life.” I was so out of touch with reality that I had no idea.
- slapped me repeatedly.
- pooped in the bathtub because he knew it would uspet me. I got so scared that I jumped out and ran naked through the house, then slipped on the lino and smashed my head against a ceramic step, resulting in a wound requiring three stitches.
- pinched me repeatedly.
- held me down on the couch and farted in my face.
- cut all the hair off my dolls. Then cut off their arms and legs.
- told me that Taz, our first family dog who I only remembered vaguely, had to be put down because I cried whenever she came near me. In fact, the dog just barked too much and gave the neighbours the shits.
- sang this song constantly, often late at night, until I was driven to borderline insanity.
- kicked me repeatedly.
- called me a “fudge packer”, “back door stabber” and various other derogatory terms for homosexuals. I had no idea what they meant until late highschool.
- forced various things into my mouth, including cat food, dirt, and batteries.
- told Mum that I broke the neighbour’s windscreen, after he had thrown a brick at their car.
- gave me a noogie every time I walked past.
- told me that my high hairline/large forehead was actually premature baldness.
- told me that Stripe, the stray cat we found who was very violent and frequently attacked my bare legs, was nowhere to be seen. I would emerge from the bathroom, where I had been hiding, to find Stripe waiting outside the door, claws ready.
- gave me a wet willy every time I walked past.
- told me that Santa Claus was not real on Christmas morning, 1989. I was three years old.
What did your brothers and sisters do to torture you? Or what did you do to them, you sick bastard?
Me: Dad, there’s something gross on my neck. Can you take a look?
My brother: Is it your face?
Dad: It’s eczema.
Me: I’m going to my room.
My brother, trying to explain dungeons and dragons to my mother:
“It’s like telling a story, but it takes fucking ages.
So one nerd says, “Holy shit, there’s a big scary dragon over there!” and the next nerd says, “Well I’ll shove a rocket launcher up its arse,” but the first nerd says, “You can only shove a rocket launcher up its arse if you roll a six or more….nope, sorry, you’re dead.”
Then they wish they had friends.”