I promise you, if you have four, there is one that was dangerous. Keith was like that.
He woulda liked to believe himself the blacksheep of the family--the only problem was that the women were born gray.
But he was woolly dark alright, and my other brother, is still white. (Sometimes, that one, he smells of bleach.)
And I can tell Keith's story now, since he's dead.
He used to run the "borderline"--meaning he had the mexican connection pretty much tied up, and he was an herbal king.
I went to one (he had a few) of his apartments once--there was a statue outside his door, life sized Venus, stolen from a grave. (I was so appalled.) There was a sign accompanied, saying, "Push the buzzer for access." and there was no buzzer there.
He thought that was hilarious.
So we knocked.
He answered the door naked, almost, but no, he had some terry cloth wrapped around him when he realized it was me...
It was my first official concert and, he was in charge of me...Wow. (I still can't believe my mom let me...)
He rolled different herbs the way he thought that they should be described--yellowed wheat papers clad acapulco gold, and pink was red, columbian and in the middle of the room was a hideous bong, that I was not allowed to suckle, because I was too young, I guess.
But it was great, the way it was, and there was no passing of the doobs--nope--they just lit one and handed it to you and let you go your way with it. So I did...
I was amazed. Because to this day? Even with our last count at five thousand vinyls? I have never seen an album collection that matched his, and..? inhale... you had to know the order of, you had to know your music 'cause it was not arranged alphabetically, but by the tone and once, that old guy Chester really screwed 'em all when he did a four way tab times two and re-arranged it all, according to producers...um, we could find the Beatles and Motown....laugh. George Martin and Phil Spector, them we could find.
Keith? There was signs for George McGovern and I was shocked, but I'd had it kinda figured out, considering my Dad had thrown him out, the last time they talked politics.
You should know, I was thirteen, and why my mother allowed me there, I have no idea, but damn...shaking my head, I was on my way to the brand new Superdome and I was gonna see the Allman Brothers.
I could not believe my luck.
(Um...neither could his nasty friends)
But actually I felt at home; they were pretty much at ease with who they were and pretty much at ease with whomever I might become...I thought it was all "cool". (and that's when cool was spelled that way)
"Wow" I said, and I took a pink cigarette, thinking that their albums needed me, to fix them, I started fiddling then, not knowing they were laughing at my naivete', but nodding saying to my brother, "she's cool."
I guess because I sang Cass Elliot and knew enough not to call her "Mama" and I knew all the words to "Turtle Blues" and I knew who Big Mama Thornton was and all the words to everything my brother played on his guitar.
Jesus Christ Superstar..."try not to get worried, try not to turn on to, problems that uspet you noooooooooo"
So yeah, that's how I remembered my brother, and that's why I went to find him, even after my Dad thought he might be dead.
It was twenty years later after this scene I described and I had to bum the twenty bucks from my Dad to file the search request with the Salvation Army, and I remembered my brother, and I told my Dad I missd him and that I found some people who would look for him cheap...and my Dad gave me the money and looked at me somber, saying, just promise me one thing:
"they don't call your mother"
and I realized then, my Dad figgered my brother was dead.
So losing my brother first?
Was kind of an expectation.
We figured it would happen that way. So much so? They bought a burial plot.
How odd though, that my brother is with me.
But they were right.
He was the first of us to go.
He never wanted to be filed away anyhow, and yanno?
He told me once that he didn't believe in God until he saw Yosemite National Park.
After that? He said he couldn't NOT believe.
smile...I have his ashes and I do believe a pilgramage is called for....