Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This Post Is the Sister Post to a Post In Equatorial Antarctica ...

My brother's been going through old vinyl and memories on his blog, and I told him recently he had to tell about his one gig as a punk rocker (hee - in our house, that was usually pronounced PUH' rokka) and the moment of glory he spent on a White Cross album cover or I would be all stupid-baby-sister and pouty about it. Heh.

What an obliging lad he is. With imagery, too. Bro is the black thing with stripes on him; wearing a shirt from our grandfather, doing that thing guys do which is the ultimate remedy to the White Boy Shuffle, grainy and denatured, twenty-five or so years ago now.

It's funny to me; he talks about not being core to the scene ... but, of course, he was my entre' into it. I've posted before about the subcultures I've touched, never counting myself full membership out of respect for the imaginary boundaries subcultures tend to set up (which he talks about too, to be sure), but so often being accepted anyway, welcomed, and encouraged to consider myself at home. Bro, though, doesn't know about himself what I do, and would never be so vain as I am, to admit it, if he did: but he had charisma. I forget this often, but growing up in the house with him, *I* was subject to him. I idolized him not in his capacity of My Big Brother, but in his skin, in his shape, in the space he occupied, and always has.

We both nursed on social openness as kids; our father taught us how to move in any context of people, it was a conscious lesson his own parents had given to him. And our mother is a meeter of others; not in the sense of introductions, but in her desire and ability to reach out to them. So, though Bro and I both accidentally shared an intensive shyness and even backwardness in some ways - we both also gained a talent for people, as well.

In him, this built on an innate charisma. I think I have it too, but as a woman I have refined and cultivated it out of a natural state, and as a vain one I have abused it to the point age has dulled it. My brother, though, had this scimitar way of cutting through crowds, and even without my desperation and intention, he had attention, quite aside from the mohawks. Bro still has a "way" about him.

I've known only a very few people with charisma - hiya, Zuba - but I recognize it, and that's not because I recognize it from those people-person parents of ours. It's because I was imprinted pretty early on someone with a personal power he both used in rebellion against his context, and which he rebelled against in itself. If I hated being "That Guy's little sister" for all those years, he himself had to BE That Guy. If being smaller-sib made me want to be A Famous Person (actor being quite secondary to the cause), then appreciating how hard a time he had even on the normal human scale of personal power has made me all the more grateful that never happened.

But yeah, there's something magic about my bro, and if out of love for him I had to put away my stupid-eyeballed idolizing, I still admire something about him which exists quite independent of my having been his sister. I get the pleasure, still, sometimes, of watching people come to see what he is - through his work, perhaps more than any other way - and sitting back, silent, all swoll'up with pride and some junk.

Family's always grainy in the eyes of its strangely-linked members. But my brother's not a dark, indefinable thing with ancestral stripes on him. He is that. But I see more, too.

Neat guy. I like him.

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