What Are Brothers For

My brother was married this past summer and I was the best man. I didn't know helping get his pants on was part of the job, but hey, he is my brother. This man has been my best friend and a pain in my neck since day one. I've gotten in trouble because I would leave him walking home from church. He walked too slow for my taste.

My cousin and I use to play with fireworks. We weren't allowed to but you know how that goes. Well, one day we go into an abandoned church and light a fire cracker and throw it in a small garbage can. Well, wouldn't you know the garbage can had some type of chemical and BAM, a fire starts. There was more smoke than fire but the folks across the street saw the smoke and called the fire department. We put the fire out and ran. No one saw us but that night Reverend Porter decided to visit my grandmother. They started talking about the fire in the church. Would you believe that my brother told Reverend Porter that I was the one that started the fire. Can you imagined being outed by your own brother? Dude just dropped the dime on me for no apparent reason.

I forgave the kid and by 8th grade we were buddies. I taught him how to pop lock but he has no rhythm so he never got into a battle. I tried to teach him how to do a helicopter but he ended up kicking some little kid in the face so I let it go. I did allow him to carry the linoleum to the break dance battles. We did a lot of fishing together as well. We would wake up early and walk down to the Fox River. We hardly caught anything but it was just cool to go fishing. When we pulled out the bikes we pretended we were Chips. Ya'll remember that show?

Anyway, years pass and during the high school years he became the little annoying brother. But he wasn't much of a fighter and we had problems with Latin Kings. One tried to run him down with a car. At that point I became big brother and me and few of my cousins cornered the kid (his name was Patrick) in the boys locker room and beat the hell out of him. Remember that Ice Cube cut (left, right, left-right you toothless - and then you say goddamn they ruthless) That's how it was.

To adulthood. After I returned from Philadelphia, we hung out a lot. Mostly playing video games. He ran into some issue and ended up staying with me for a while. That didn't work out for several reason - one I'm paying for right now. We continued to talk and hang out but eventually he moved to Philadelphia. He called every once in a while and we would talk about life, his daughter and his relationship. He had some issues with the relationship, but who doesn't. We talked for hours about them and even how some of his issues had to do with our childhood. He was 900 miles away but we became best friends again.

He finally decided to get married. When he asked me to be the best man I was honored. He wasn't sure how many folks in the family would make it but I told him if no one else makes it, I'll make it. It turned out that my sisters made the trip and we had a nice little family reunion. It was a good weekend for him. I'm glad I was there for him. Even with all of our ups and downs, he's still my brother.


9 Responses to What Are Brothers For

  1. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    11 18 05

    James, you touch the heart everytime I read. I feel you about the little brother thing. My little brother just moved out from staying with me and the husband! But the unconditional love from family is unparalled in our lives and thk for sharing!
  2. James Manning Says:
    thanks, mahn,

    actually, i just looked at the picture and all of these thougts came to mind so i figured i would share.
  3. Deb S. Says:
    Wow, this one really tugs at the heart.
  4. James Manning Says:
    yeah, I'm going to email my brother.
  5. Cynthia Says:
    This is a lovely story.
  6. James Manning Says:
    Thanks Cynt, makes folks realize that I'm not just not about proving that Bush is a spawn of the Devil (which I am sure that he is).
  7. XYBORG Says:
  8. Shirazi Says:
    I too was touched: notwithstanding who did what ;-)

    Yes, this is what are brothers for.
  9. jan brauner Says:
    I sat there and looked at your picture and laughed and laughed..cuz you're so cute.... helping your little 'big' brother, that is...and I finally got to meet you in a manner of speaking...great story..Hey Mahn..I am having more trouble getting on your blog..gonna try another username and password, but gee whiz..running out..Back to you james..I'm glad that you are about more than Bush being the spawn of the devil(cuz he's not :) )...