Everyone Was Nice

We had a very pleasant Thanksgiving. Everyone was nice and everyone behaved themselves and my parents scrubbed my house from top to bottom. My dad asked me a question–how much did I pay for my house?–which he knows the answer to, because he and my mom gave me the downpayment and that, coupled with everyone being nice to each other, freaks me out a little bit. My dad is nicest when he’s not feeling well.

There’s shit going on–family shit–that I’m not going to go into specifics about. But there comes a point when you ask yourself, “Could the stress of my brother’s life kill my dad?” and you realize that your dad thinks that it will. In fact, he may be planning on it and trying to arrange things for posterity.

I mean, I love my dad, but he’s not nice and kind at every moment sustained for three days straight. But he was, and I imagine it’s because he wants us to have nice memories of him.

It’s terrible to even try to describe. But I know it’s what he’s up to. He’s going to be the man he wishes he was all along. Which is lovely and, if it meant, like it has for my Grandma, a late in life blossoming into something sweet and lingering, who would not want that?

But he does it because he thinks his time is short and he wants to be remembered like this and not like this and…

And yet, I’m so fucking pissed at him and my brother about this. It’s so stupid. Why should my brother get to rob us all of a father? If this is some big get-even for how we came up, if my dad owes him, when do we get to consider the debt settled?

I wish they’d hash this shit out in therapy, rather than like this.

And I’m frightened for my brother, who is doing… I don’t even know… his own version of sitting someplace among people who hate him seeing how much he can take before it kills him. And why? If he’s not going to do anything with his life, if he’s not actually going to live it, can’t he be half-alive at my parents’ house or in our den or someplace where he’s safe and fed and no one is intentionally dicking him over?

If this does kill my dad, how am I ever supposed to forgive my brother for it?