The Kid Brother is focused, which is another way of saying The Kid Brother is obsessive-compulsive and has a very difficult time changing his routine.
“Whadda YOU want?” he blurted when I phoned at 6:25. “I take my shower at 6:30!”
“You’re late!” he snaps, when I connect on Skype at 11:01 instead of 11:00.
If I connect at 10:59, he mutters, “You’re early!”
Sundays during spring/summer, he plays softball in Central Park. So he visits my mother Saturdays and they have lunch together.
Saturdays during fall/winter, he bowls in a league. So he visits my mother Sundays and they have lunch together.
Three mornings per week he drops off his laundry at a nearby fluff-and-fold. They originally told him it would be ready by 4. So that’s when he picks it up. Not 4:15. Not 5. Four o’clock.
(Click the images; they get bigger.)
MUSY, AS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE AS HIS UNCLE. HERE HE IMPATIENTLY AWAITS HIS AFTER-LUNCH TREAT. “IT’S 3:30!”
San Geraldo and I catered an 80th birthday bash for The Dowager Duchess (eight years ago). We included The Kid Brother as our co-host. The evening before, he told me he couldn’t come to the party because, “I got softball Sunday, ya know!”
The Dowager Duchess told him when he was 13 years old that chocolate wasn’t good for his skin. He’s now 55 and still doesn’t eat chocolate. Unless it’s white chocolate, which apparently doesn’t count.
Our sister Dale died in 1981 in Sheffield, England, when The Kid Brother was 21. We and our parents went to the hospice to say our good-byes. It was such an awful shock to see his big sister that way that he has refused to make a hospital visit ever since. Just being around someone who’s ill makes him very nervous.
So, of course The Kid Brother wouldn’t visit the Dowager Duchess during the 7-1/2 weeks of her hospital stay. I was pleased to be able to convince him to come to the apartment once she was home (before I came back to Spain). He only stayed briefly and then he and I went out for lunch. Having a stranger in the house (the home healthcare worker) threw him off.
Well, The Dowager Duchess is on her own again. After five weeks she, too, has had more than enough of a stranger in the house. So, now I’m trying to convince The Kid Brother that things are back to normal and he can return to his old routine.
I just have to break him of his new routine.
When I spoke with him Friday (to convince him to visit our mother on Saturday), he said, “Maybe in December.”
I have my work cut out for me. (But I’m hoping he’ll come around by this weekend.)
Meanwhile, I’m awfully pensive and unfocused lately. Maybe The Kid Brother’s routines wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
MUSY HAS ALSO BEEN VERY PENSIVE LATELY.
I LOVE THAT ELBOW.
For some reason, I woke up with this song in my head…
The American Wild West is a popular theme at fairs and kiddie parks in Southern Spain. There’s currently a ride on a nearby plaza complete with horses circling Native American totem poles, cacti — And a camel.
For a time there were camels brought to the American West from Tunisia, Greece, Malta, Turkey, and Egypt — beginning in 1855 and lasting only into the 1860s.
That said, I don’t think the designer of this particular ride was aiming for historical accuracy, especially considering the ride was called “Far West” instead of “Wild West.” I’m not quite sure where in the world the Far West actually is.
When I got home from my walk I told Dudo what I saw. When I mentioned the name of the ride, he burst out laughing. (Click any image for a closer look.)
Ah, our brilliant cats. When Dudo and Moose see me setting up my laptop computer for Skype, they know I’ll be talking with Uncle Chuck (The Kid Brother). And they know that now when I talk with Uncle Chuck, they get their treats. I place the laptop on the kitchen floor so The Kid Brother can visit with the boys while they eat. He loves it.
(CLICK ANY IMAGE TO FEEL THE LOVE.)
At first the cats were a bit nervous about someone inside that box talking directly to them. Now, they know the presence of Uncle Chuck means good things are coming their way. Moose peeks at the screen before turning his back to eat. Dudo checks in regularly and then, when he’s finished, steps in for a closer look.
MOOSE (FOREGROUND) EATS AND RUNS.
BEFORE LICKING UP THE FINAL BITS, DUDO STEPS OVER TO SAY “GRACIAS.”
Uncle Chuck doesn’t let me move the laptop until the cats are done and gone. Then he’s willing to talk to me again… But mostly about the cats.