The Kid Brother came by Saturday morning at 9. He and I walked to Nathan’s Coney Island (The Original Nathan’s) for hot dogs and fries. I convinced him to jump in the photo booth with me for a quick “brothers photo” and then we went to the arcade where The Kid Brother excels at skee-ball.
|“LOOK INTO THE LENS AT TOP, NOT THE COUNTDOWN AT BOTTOM.
CHUCK, SMILE. LOOK UP. CHUCK. LOOK UP. SMILE. CHUCK…” CLICK.
When the Kid Brother arrived at The Dowager Duchess’s apartment, he immediately headed into the kitchen with his backpack and began raiding the cupboards and refrigerator.
“Bagels!” he exclaimed. “Just what I needed!”
“Chuck, those are OUR bagels,” I snapped.
He put them back and began foraging through the boxes of cereal. “Oh, good, this box of Cheerios isn’t open,” he said as he shoved it in his backpack. He picked up a box of Raison Bran. “Ours,” I said. “You know, we’ve got to eat, too.” He put it back.
Then he started digging through the fruit bowl. “I’m out of everything,” he explained. “Hey, where are those flat peaches you had last week?”
“Chuck,” I said. “This isn’t a supermarket. If you’re out of food, you need to go grocery shopping.”
“Aright, aright,” he muttered. He grabbed some ordinary peaches and pears and closed up his overstuffed backpack.
The Dowager Duchess has lately (the past few years) set some unfortunate precedents. She shops for my brother because, “He never has any food in his house.” She gives him money because, “He needs money to load up his Metro Card.”
The Kid Brother shares an apartment with two other guys and it’s well-managed by AHRC. I’ve tried to convince her that he needs to be self-sufficient and the staff need to know how he’s managing his money — and if he has enough. She can’t subsidize him. I kept telling her she was creating a monster. Mothers!
I paid for Nathan’s ($30). I paid for skee ball ($40). On the way home, he casually mentioned he only had enough money to pay for his laundry that afternoon and needed to add money to his Metro card before he headed to Central Park to play softball Sunday morning.
|OUR $30 LUNCH. AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!|
|READY TO ROLL THE FIRST BALL.|
|I WAS THE BANK, THE PHOTOGRAPHER, AND THE PEANUT GALLERY.|
“You have no money at home?” I asked.
“Any money in the bank?” I asked.
“Don’t worry! I got money in the bank!” (Our sister’s nickname for him was Ebeneezer.)
“Well, then you need to go to the bank and take out some money for your expenses. Your mother is not your supermarket. And she’s not your bank. I’ll give you $20 to get you to Monday and then you need to take care of things.”
When we got back upstairs — so he could pick up his backpack filled with loot — I forgot to give him the $20 I promised. He looked at me and said, “Hey! You owe me 20 bucks!”
I said, “Listen, buddy, I don’t OWE you anything. I’m doing you a favor. Got it?”
“I got it. I got it,” he said. “Jeez, what a grouch!”
The Dowager Duchess had some injections of steroids and anti-inflammatories Friday morning. The pain in her back is considerably better and she’s able to sit up on her own in bed and move around much more. However, it clearly hasn’t done much for the nerve pain, which was excruciating again last night after so much more movement throughout the day. So, she’s back on Codeine and we’ll be discussing next steps with the medical team Monday.
When I got to the hospital for my afternoon visit Saturday, I told The Duchess about my day with the Kid Brother. She simply gave me a guilty, closed-mouthed smile and shrugged. Mothers!
|THE DIVINE (AND DOTING) DOWAGER DUCHESS…
THIS IS HOW SHE LOOKS ON A BAD DAY!
(STILL, THE KID BROTHER TOLD ME, “SHE NEEDS TO GET DRESSED!”)