Street but Sweet


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bon voyage, Carlos!

My brother is leaving today to study in the US, but he'll most likely be staying there for good. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but last night I thought about some of the stuff we went through over the years, and it started to hit me that the house is going to seem emptier without him. Sure, he moved out a couple of years ago, but he always made it a point to be there on Sundays. (Whether it was to see us or get his laundry done, I'll never know.)

It's rare that I reflect on my relationship with him because it's been pretty steady all these years. Like all siblings, we've had our our fights, but last night I realized that he's one person who has always been on my side. Back when we were kids and I was way more annoying than I am now (a matter of opinion, of course), he would let me hang out with him and his friends. He tried to protect me, but not in an overt kuya way (when we watched the Bon Jovi concert--you're free to laugh--there was a huge, rowdy crowd, and Carlos tried to carry me over a fence on the field so we could make a quick exit). He's been one of my supporters, watching my dance concerts and competitions with his friends (and trying to convince me to hook him up with my dancer friends). These are the weird things that have stayed with me, and things he'll probably never admit.

He's one of the smartest people I know, and when we were kids, it frustrated me no end that he could do everything better than I could--he had more medals, drew better pictures, wrote better stuff. But under all the mock resentment, I've always been proud of him. And I've always tried to be on his side. (Probably something I'll never admit either.)

I said a hurried goodbye to him this morning before heading out, one of the rare times we actually beso'd. I deliberately made it short and sweet because I didn't wanna be an effin' drama queen about it. But I couldn't help crying in the car.

Photos: (top) This used to be one of my favorite photos. I actually had it in my wallet. Taken years ago, somewhere in Rome. (Above left) With my sis-in-law Rita and my two bros. I love this picture. It's gonna be a while 'til we can take another one like it. (Above right) At the despedida, with Marciana (one of my yayas when I was younger, and now my nephew Diego's yaya), H, Mumsy, Kuya Dave (who can drink a bottle of beer in six seconds), Tita Au, and Ate Paz.


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