It’s a banana boat floating down the san marcos;
we’e got a couple hundred miles to go
— the prophet smelly dog
The guy in the photo is Mike, our Brother the Younger. We’ve been through some wars.
We go with Rick to a pub for an afternoon concert. The House of FiFi DuBois, possibly the greatest bar name of all time. It’s the first time we’ve been there, and the joint is the quintessential music venue. The musician is solid, the room is delightfully quirky (an Airstream trailer is parked in the corner), and miraculously, they have my absolute favorite beer in the world on tap — Black Butte Porter.
I haven’t had a beer in forever. It arrives at the table, and it’s perfect. Ice cold in a simple pint glass. I savor the first sip. Couldn’t be better.
I have known Rick doesn’t do well out of his comfort zone these days. Out-of-town trips are off limits, and we only eat at places he’s familiar with, but somehow I hadn’t considered how stressful coming to a strange, dark bar would be. Yes, I am an idiot. He needs to leave. Now.
We head for the familiar confines of home and doggos, untouched beers left behind. No worries, just another chapter in learning the new rulebook.
Mike and Laura, his lovely bride, leave for a while to do chores. Rick and I have a bit of a rough afternoon. He doesn’t know who I am (I can relate — I have never been too sure who I am either), and I haven’t showered for a few days so I smell funny. It was crazy hot today, and we overdid it outside. Heat seems to make him a bit fuzzy. Lesson learned.
I text Mike and tell him it’s a stressful afternoon. He assures me he’ll come over later.
Sure enough, Mike and Laura arrive a couple of hours later with pizza, our favorite movie, and a cooler.
And then, joy. He whips out a couple of icy Black Butte Porters. Thought you could use these, he says.
i have no idea how he was able to find them, but they are even better than the one left behind at the bar. I guess that’s what happens when you mix in a little love.
We eat pizza, have birthday cinnamon rolls, and watch the movie as Rick nods off happily. Things are Ok again.
Rick and I tortured Mike as a child. Teamed up on him in Monopoly. And after it all, he still has our backs.
No surprise, I suppose. We’re brothers. We’ve been through some wars.