I went to California for my brother’s wedding. Max was born when I was halfway through senior year of high school. That spring, I took him in his stroller down the hill to Brookline High and presented him like show-and-tell to my classmates in the art building. A girl named Nina couldn’t get over his little feet. Rosy, unblemished baby feet which had yet to touch ground, feet which had never been used to walk.
Max and I haven’t lived in the same city since he was small but he’s visited me in Chicago many times. I took him to Six Flags for the Batman ride when he was eleven or twelve. Then to Kuma’s for metal band-themed burgers the next time. I snuck him into a bar to hear a metal band when he was underage. The next few times he’d fly in on business and we’d grab a meal—sometimes metal-themed, other times not. About five years ago he showed up in town with a girl. I’ve only ever seen Max’s life in brief glimpses but seeing him with Lauren made for a fuller picture. Just as with my other brother, Boris, and his wife, Blakeney, watching Lauren with Max made me see my brother in a new light. A couple which works creates its own world, which doesn’t need anyone else. It’s a joy to see that both my brothers have that.
When Max was growing up I used to joke that he’d have to take care of me in my old age. All these years on, it’s no longer so funny. I’m glad he has Lauren because he’ll need her help with that. She’ll help him steer my wheelchair when the time comes. Maybe they’ll find some place to present me for show-and-tell so we can come full circle. In the meantime, they have a narrow window of time to enjoy each other before I completely break down and I hope they take full advantage of it.
—I had a few hours to kill in LA before heading north to Santa Barbara, so I went to see Marc Maron perform at a venue called Dynasty Typewriter, located next to MacArthur Park. I could help singing the song as I walked through it…Someone left a cake out in the rain…etc, etc.
I listen to Maron’s podcast twice a week so seeing the guy in the flesh was like visiting a longtime companion. Afterwards he was out in front of the theater with some friends and I went over and thanked him for the show. It was awkward but I’m glad I did it anyway.