Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 10

Dear Sister,

Among the myriad of little tics that mar any semblance I may have of being a functioning adult, one of my biggest faults is that I choose to tune-out and leave the world when confronted with a scolding — deserved or not.

If you can remember — we both know you can— there was a time when I had all three of you, plus my mom, sitting or standing, in a circle around me, questioning me for something I did or didn’t do.

“Marco! Were you not thinking?”

“Oh you know he wasn’t. It didn’t even cross his mind.”

“This is your fault, you encouraged him to do it.”

“Marco, can you please explain yourself?”

“Well, are you going to say something?”

“We’re waiting.”

And in stern silence, with one hand covering her mouth, and the other firmly placed on the top lap of her crossed legs, my mother’s eyes never stopped darting between me and whichever one of sisters was talking at that time. Mom usually sat in silence during the inquisitions. And when one of you asked her for her thoughts, she shrugged, threw her gaze away from the scene, and let out a sigh that almost always placed the weight of disappointment on me.

Memories were never designed to be 100% accurate. We are the products of messy evolution, and it’s easy to forget that despite how powerful our brains may be, the sights, smells, and sounds we remember best are tied down to emotional anchors. As you may know, emotions and logic don’t mix, and because we have fantastic, imaginative computers at the core of all conscious and subconscious thought, it’s easy to unintentionally fabricate a whole narrative based on an interaction with the senses and the resulting feeling.

Today I got in a fight with my girlfriend over my wardrobe. It was dumb because her complaints are almost modern-day reboots of things my mom yelled at me for 20-years-ago.

Remember when you used to tell me, “no one is going to want to date someone that dresses like you.” And I responded with, “if they love me for who I am, they won’t care what I wear.”

Well I learned that…

  1. Tight-fitting pants are so 2012, but my butt does look nice in them.
  2. I don’t think I’ll ever change as far as how I respond to being lectured and scolded. I still become grim-silent and I just tune everyone and everything out. It’s during these times that I want nothing more than to be alone.
  3. And, I am dating someone that likes me for me — God only knows why they torture themselves — but maybe I should be a little more empathetic towards their needs with regards to my wardrobe.

Eh, oh well. Here’s to another 20 years of being a homeless-looking slob.


Your Little Brother