Family, Mental Health

My Brother, the Alien

IMG_2752My brother Takkin is like an alien who has come to this earth and watched people’s behaviors and has tried to mimic them, but everything is always slightly off kilter. He orders a burrito, then opens the burrito up and eats the inside and then balls up the tortilla and shoves it whole into his mouth. When he sits at the dinner table, his plate is never in front of him, but always off to the side, slightly askew. His shirts are often inside out. He tries to shave his beard but only manages to trim one side. He sits on the toilet and instead of shitting into the toilet, he shits onto the seat. As you can imagine, this is a particularly bad alien behavior.

While in Virginia, I saw my dad come out of the bathroom wearing that familiar face. What’s wrong, I asked. There’s shit everywhere, he said. I opened the door and there was, indeed, shit everywhere. My dad had just cleaned a shit-strewn bathroom the day before. I’ll do it, I said. So I got on my hands and knees and cleaned my brother’s shit off the floor, the toilet bowl, the door, the shower, the counter, the wall. I scrubbed and sprayed and mopped until there was no shit left and yet there would always always always be shit. And soon, when my dad can no longer care for Takkin, that shit will all be mine.

I love him, but I am very scared.


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