The people upstairs

Mil’s younger brother, Bil2 lives with his girlfriend of two years and 9 year old son in the apartment above us. We are in a stacked tri-Plex  on the second floor, he is on top. His son, Rock, who is three weeks older than Gem.

The brothers have a strained relationship, to say the least. Mil is three-ish years older. His parents were  still teenagers when he was born. He was also born without a working bum or digestive system (to simplify thesituation) and was in the hospital for the better part of the first six months of his life. They even had to move to the city for better medical care.

So, Bil2 came a few years later, after the teenagers became adults, got married, had careers, became addicted to their vices, started disciplining their eldest child excessively. Dad had an undiagnosed mental illness; mom had a diagnosed selfishness. A dominant memory is about how the mother would tell on Mil to the father and then take Bil2 out for ice cream while Mil got a beating.

Can you imagine what that would do to a child?

Anyway,  Mil has never gotten along with his younger brother. He often tells me about protecting him when they were kids, because Bil was an idiot or something. I always thought he was frustrated that Bil2’s kid was born three weeks before his. It would be completely understandable if he was. (I lost my shit when my older sister got engaged the day after me.)

When Mil and I got together they weren’t on speaking terms. In fact, the first time I saw Bil2 was when we walked past him, barely a body length away. It was at a school concert. The second time I saw him was there too. Then their mother moved to town a few of years ago, Bil2 had since left his wife so they got a place together. Mil thinks it’s important for Gem to know her grandmother – dad overdosed when the babies were about three months old – so we used to only see them on special occasions.

Anyway Mil helped his younger brother get the apartment upstairs. He said it’s because of loyalty and blah blah blah but I think he likes having family around. And now I’m making him move.


It’s kind of weird, though. Good and bad. I was completely against them moving in at first. Mil used to say he would never tell him if the place came available but as soon as the people in there mentioned they were moving, he was all about the brotherly love. In a logical sense there are benefits: someone else to take Mil on his errands because he won’t get his driver’s licence back, and, while their custody agreement is whatever whenever and ours is very rigid, Rock would be here at the same time as Gem sometimes and they could play.

I wanted no part of it. My reaction was no. Pleasenothankyouverymuch. I couldn’t put it into words, it was an emotional reaction not a logical one. I thought I was starting to think I was insane until we told my sister and she knew right away that I’d be against it. It’s not about the reason, she just knew. (That spoke to me.)

Now they are have been here a few months and I am able to put my trepidation into words. I expected to hate someone seeing me come and go. Mil is pretty possessive and I’m not sure we’d have made it this far if it wasn’t for his night job. (Not that I do anything, which makes it even more irritating  to have someone want to know my whereabouts 24/7.) It turned out I tripped on one of Bil2’s secrets and asked him for pot while his woman was there. (The fact that she didn’t know blew me away. How could you live with someone who didn’t know you? That’s what  you do in your 20s do.)

It bothered me that I might be expected to socialize with them. When I was growing up my parents friends always showed up unexpectedly. It drove me crazy. I don’t want to have to wear clothes all the time. That didn’t come to pass, either. In fact, when our adorable asshole cat went on an overnight adventure, she spent hours helping me look for the little fucker.

I thought it would suck that they might hear us having sex but we don’t do that much anymore anyways. I heard them, though; it made me giggle. I thought they’d hear us fight but we don’t bother with that much anymore either. Mil heard her flipping out at Bil2 yesterday; that made me giggle too.

The biggest outcome, however, was completely unexpected. She is big like I am. They’re both pretty fat and lazy too, just like us. It has been an odd sense of looking at us from the outside. Trouble is, I don’t particularly like what I see.


But we’re moving on.

I had a really long visit with my best talking friend (Btf) yesterday. We mini analyze each other every few months or so. It’s like a life checkup. We discuss and listen but we don’t judge.  We tell secrets about crushes and we understand why crushes are okay, and how much fun they can be.

I always come from these visits with a epiphany of some sort. Yesterday I realized that my life is in transition again. That’s what this  blog is about (I think it’s practice for my professional blog – good idea, me!). We’re moving soon, I’m trying to earn a promotion, working my way through school. What else? Who knows? That’s the thing about transition.

Ima go watch Bridges of Maddison County now but first I will post my first Unionguyism. Check it.






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