This Guy

Who’s going to the Bruins game this weekend?” I pointed to myself, “this guy!”

My brother gave me a forced laugh and continued playing his video game. My shoulders slumped.

“Well, if you wanted to come, you could come. Nobody’s stopping you,” I said, trying to get his attention away from the twenty-inch screen.

“I,” he killed a goon, “don’t,” jumped a flight of stairs, “want,” another player shot at him, “to go.”

“Fine,” I shrugged.

I headed into the kitchen to review the fridge. There wasn’t anything in it that I wanted, but sometimes just looking could take my mind off other things; like the dorky brother I was forced to live with since I didn’t make enough to afford my own place.

And he’s my younger brother.

“We’re outta cheese dip!” I yelled through the apartment.

There was a pause of silence infiltrated by the clicking of the controller. “Get some more!” He yelled back.

I slammed the fridge shut, “well, why can’t you get some more!?”

A couple of Wilhelm screams echoed through the apartment before the TV went silent. I rolled my eyes. My brother was always looking for a fight.

“What?” I asked as soon as I saw his head rise from the couch.

He walked towards me.

“What?” I asked again.

He reached the kitchen and in two steps turned to the fridge, grabbed a Pepsi, and returned to the living room.

The sound of gun blasts and grenades returned.

I rolled my eyes, “well, alrighty then.”

Returning to the fridge I pulled out a Gatorade. After drinking half of it in one gulp I replaced the cap and put it back on the shelf. I stared at it for a moment before closing the fridge.

“Now we’re outta Gatorade,” I said to myself. I turned to look at my brother. All I could see was the back of his head. His brown hair jogged in place while he jostled the controller to take over another country. Talking to him seemed like a bad idea. Instead, I went to my room and laid down.

I looked at all the posters littering the walls of my room. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale stared down at me. I sighed. A copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel sat on my bedside table. I considered picking it up but decided my ceiling deserved my attention more. This was my life. There was nothing more and nothing less.

‘Well, at least I’m not dying,’ I thought to myself, ‘and my parents aren’t being tortured by some dictator.’

But somehow, even though those things weren’t happening, the rest of the world still wasn’t enough.

I lived on the top floor of a nine story apartment building.

If I jumped, I would die.

“I got him!” My brother shouted to himself. His muffled excitement invaded my room through the paper-thin walls.

I smiled. Someone had to look after that loser.

And that someone was ‘this guy’. I pointed to myself.

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