My eldest brother Jim is a funny eccentric and extremely nutty person whom I adore. He has lived with drug and some vague mental problems for many years and now lives alone near Edinburgh. I often feel guilty that I don’t see him enough but he can be hard work. His daily accounts of fighting with doctors, police and social workers (many of these stories are greatly exaggerated) can wear you down and defeatist attitude can make your ears bleed.
Jim has lived a strange life, having been an addict for many years and now apparently doesn’t do heroin (Fuck knows he doesn’t need it to go into a trippy world) but he still uses pills and downers etc.
His only daughter who is 30 years old has TWO sets of twins (Two girls at a year old and a boy and girl at nine) and a teenage daughter, now lives near London so he is on his own. He adored her kids and helped raise them and misses then dreadfully and does nothing but talk about them….bless. Jim has been single since 1980.
I abhor going to visit because his home is usually a junk yard mess and I have NO idea how that toilet pan can get so brown…what is he doing?
Brewing tea down there? Flush for fucksake….
Those who know me know that I have huge emotional issues with dirty houses, due to my childhood dirty home imprinting that horrid feeling on me that haunts my soul forever.
He collects junk and dirt like no one I know…he used to have three televisions stacked on top of one another, one with volume, one with the picture and one for good luck. There is always a broken guitar and a three legged cat hanging about, he has a huge collection and fascination with knives and swords for fighting the gangs he has to encounter daily (or in his imagination actually).
He has an array of fake guns and I suspect more fake weapons of warfare than any normal man should posses. If ever a fake war breaks out HE IS THE MAN to win that conflict.
He is obsessed with undercover spies, UFO’s (which is lucky because where he lives is the UFO capital sightings of Europe which is I suspect is probably my brother making all those calls to National Aviation) he is into conspiracy theories, he believes his TV/dial up internet has been flagged by FBI and hates sailors, hedgehogs and kites (don’t ask me why…?)
And I love him.
So there I was at his flat today. He has a new dog called Cooper. It is a big gangly –tail waggy-slobbering-ankle licking-leg humping odd animal.
The dog makes so much fuss and constantly breaks his train of thought with its antics and it’s difficult when my brother’s train of thought is already so fragmented; it makes any conversation so bloody difficult to endure. I was exhausted within minutes of arrival!
The dog jumped, sniffed and mounted me three times within seconds; I felt raped and licked….it was gruesome and funny.
Its big powerful tail cleared the coffee table with one bushy swipe like the expert hands of some flash casino croupier who can clear a deck of cards with one glamorous movement. It then managed to head butt an ashtray and within minutes the floor was just a dump. It then clumsily stood on my brothers Playstation, knocked over a cup of tea and banged its big bushy arse into the TV. I leaned over to eat a cookie and as I momentarily held it in mid air to chat, it gently opened its big jaws and just simply took it from my fingers and ate it whilst staring at me with big brown eyes. Tail still wagging, beating the dirty floor like a Tom Tom drum.
The dog disappeared and arrived back in the living room with a grenade in its mouth. YES a fucking green old grenade….”Jim what the fuck is that?” I sighed.
Normal people would be shocked and run for cover, but remember this is MY brother we are talking about.
“It’s a fake grenade, but it’s actually a cigarette lighter” he said nonchalantly taking it from the dog’s wet mouth.
The dog then ran off and came back with a sock.
It then ran off and came back with silver chrome bowl. It turned the bowl upside down and then proceeded to chase the upturned chrome bowl all over the living room trying to turn it over; it went crazy at this game. Teeth and legs flashing all over the place, barking, yelping and jumping in frustration, as it failed to get the bowl into an upright position, so I turned it over and the dog just stood on the rim and flipped it back upside down and chased it again…..
As if that wasn’t mental enough, a woman called Bertie arrived, Jim introduced her “Bertie does nails, she used to do heroin she used to be a hooker, but now she is a manicurist” Jim announced with a flourish of his hand to indicate how artistic this new job was that Bertie had.
“Good” I smiled not really knowing what to say.
“Guess whose nails she did last week?” My brother asked with a smile in his question.
Bertie glowed and blushed as Jim spread his arms wide as a gesture of her grandiose talent.
I caught a flash of my brother’s fingers and could see it certainly wasn’t his grubby dirty nails she attended to.
Then my eyes lowered, though my brain was telling me not to be so ridiculous –yet my eyes kept going lower and… YES the DOG had pink shiny dog toe nails. I was amazed and my brain froze with shock at seeing this golden mongrel with gaudy claws. I hadn’t noticed it before, but they had a pale shell pink glittery sheen.
“Yes, she did Coopers toe nails” My brother smiled, raising his eyebrows as if to encourage me to join in with this amazing revelation and celebrate the work she had done on his big waggy tailed dog.
Bertie smiled and added “He liked it didn’t he?”
“Yes, he loved it” added my brother.
I thought I was going to laugh out loud, but I couldn’t because my brother and the manicurist would have been offended as they thought it was normal and nice to paint the dog’s nails.
When I finally left and sat on the train home, I laughed quietly and giggled to myself constantly. My brother is a nutter, a harmless knife collecting nutter….but a happy one none the less that can always make me smile._