So I was absently doing a line of cocaine earlier with the funky sounds of Parliament playing in the background when the sensation gripped me like a hand around my throat. The spirit of my brother lives in me.
OK, was that dramatic or what? I guess that was the idea.
My idea of spirits has changed dramatically over the years. Thanks to my mother’s intense fascination with the occult, I had a pretty terrifying view of spirits as a kid. Like straight horror movie action.
Now, I see spirits as intense impressions. The more impressionable a person is on you in the life, the more apt they are to “haunt” you in death. I believe the human mind retains the impressions (aka psychic energy) to the point that they see ghosts, have visitations, etc.
Tonight as I was walking to 7-11, smoking a joint in route to purchase beer, chips and ice cream, I had to laugh. This is exactly what my brother did every night of his life for years.
When I was still a kid, there was a point where my bro lived at home. He was much older than considered appropriate to be doing so. In his defense, he was never shown how to live on his own. I should know—they never taught me anything about self-reliance either. Sure, my parents made it happen for us financially and otherwise, but the whole ‘lead by example’ model doesn’t really work, people. You just end up with kids totally unable to live on their own. And that really sucks for the kid.
But while my brother was living at home in the basement (of course), every night he would get terrifically stoned and walk to the corner store for all sorts of munchies. Hostess chocolate cupcakes with ice-cold milk were always a favorite. Then he would go back into the basement, smoke more weed, eat and listen to crazy records like Parliament and Funkadelic.
My brother was also crazy. I’m pretty sure he was bi-polar. The guy had mad issues. He put the fear of God into my mother, who immediately shipped my off to private schools deep in the suburbs when the time came. The die had been cast; I was NOT going to turn out like my brother.
I was always fascinated and kind of scared of him. When he was up, he was the coolest guy in the world. But when he was down, he became the meanest bastard on the planet.
I didn’t even know what weed was back then. But his room in the basement always reeked of it. When he was stoned, he would let me come down and hang out. He’d play music or we’d watch TV (“Saturday Night Live” was one he would always watch together. Back when it was the best show on TV. Man, those were such amazing times).
Over the years I became a totally sheltered nerd, and he hated it. A lot.
An already long story short, I find it very interesting that I’m basically re-enacting that era of his life. Like to a freaking T. As I roll yet another joint, and finish off this bag of BBQ potato chips. Oh, and turn up the volume on “Funk or Walk,” the 1978 debut from Brides of Funkenstein.
Somewhere, my brother is loving all of this right now. And marveling at the exemplary quality of the marijuana I smoke. He’s gotta be impressed.