Neon in the window
Sirens far away
News on the radio
— the prophet johnette lin napolitano
The best thing about celebrating your brother’s birthday by long distance: You don’t have to share the cake with him.
The worst thing about celebrating your brother’s birthday by long distance: You bought the funny gag candles that won’t blow out, before realizing he can’t blow them out via Zoom anyhow, and you are left with a raging inferno.
I’m four years older than Mike, so I was greatly disturbed to find out how old he is. He’s a computer guy, so I assume he just reboots a lot to maintain his boyish charm.
We have much in common, as brothers do. A love of guitars and Texas, wives that are much too good for us, a penchant for Dr Pepper and obscure folk singers who never quite made it. We’ve lived the classic brother movie: Boy meets brother, boy loses brother, boy figures out before it’s too late how great his brother is.
And so these days we meet up a lot on the interwebz, talking way too long and having way too much fun. Being guys and bound by The Guy Code, you can’t say you love each other, so you swap stories about how to make coffee on a camp stove when it’s 3 degrees outside, and how to recover an abducted space monkey when it’s been kidnapped by a deranged arteest. But you know. Because you’re brothers.
You can never be sure how many birthdays you have left. But you can be sure how much cake you have left. And we had a lot more of it because he wasn’t here. A happy birthday indeed.
Now if these candles will stop burning before the apartment goes up in flames …