See that boy sitting across from me with a serious expression on his face? He is unaware that I am staring at him blatantly because he is absorbed in his own thoughts. I feel as though we are the only people in the room.
I don’t know if he knows I’m even there.
That boy is my little brother Julian.
His mind is always floating around in another world to be far away from people and problems as possible. His cool and blasé personality is often a mask for his soft-hearted and emotional side. He never liked to show his feelings to anyone, even to himself.
Ah, I just remembered — when he was five or six years old, he literally spent all his time reading television manuals or any kind of electronic manuals he can get his little hands on. He is thrilled by the complicated workings of a simple remote control for the television, and enjoyed setting up the brand new printer so that it can send fax and print in color.
I also remembered his special interest in computers. My father used to have this awkwardly large computer sitting proudly on a little wooden desk. He would let my brother touch the mouse and look at the bulging screen. Seeing his interest in this strange piece of technology, my father eventually let him use the computer. While I, his older sister, barely knew how to turn on the computer, Julian was already pressing the keys down like a professional.
Therefore, Julian helped me tremendously when I got my first computer. Soon, I began to learn how to make short movies or update my blog before any of the other kids at school knew how to do it. He carefully instructed me on how to upload videos from my camera, edit it with special effects, and post it on my blog for others to see. Ultimately, he and I were making videos every week. Everyone at school was fascinated with the special effects and the cool logo my brother, at age nine, designed and animated.
Eventually, parents called my mother and asked her how my father helped us make the blog. “Their father did not make the videos for them” my mother said, genuinely surprised “the kids did.”
Even as his sister, I think he is a strange kid. He is dark, tall, skinny, and his hair is always slightly disheveled. Julian is just Julian. He’s not complicated — he’ll look unimpressed during a boring conversation, and will literally not notice you have something stuck in your teeth. He will only laugh at jokes HE thinks is funny.
Sometimes, he is so concentrated in what he is doing that his ears are able to block off all kind of noise in the outside world. I can yell or wave in front of his face but he would not even notice. In the midst of loud, buzzing conversations, spoons clinking onto plates, the waiters hurriedly walking back and forth, my brother is imagining something bigger and greater. His fingers trace his creations on a piece of napkin, his mind exploring and creating.
So I let him be him. He doesn’t have to know that I’m there. I’m just going to let his mind wander through all the effervescent dreams and buzzing ideas.