My brother came home this afternoon. He came through the door with a few of his friends, none of them cute. These are the gangly ones. The ones that, no matter how much older they get, still look like they're fourteen years old.
The first word out of his mouth was Hello. The next were, When was the last time you went shopping and What food is in this house? He then proceeded to go into the kitchen and fix a giant pot of spaghetti for his friends. With it, they ate a side of dill pickle chips.
My brother was very pleased with himself. He'd just come back from Walmart, where he'd purchased a mini coffee maker. After his friends left, he got on the phone with someone to tell them about his amazing purchase. "It's a Mister Coffee," he said. "It's a really good brand."
I have no idea who this person is. Just where does this nineteen year old get off thinking he knows actual facts about appliances? Has he had a household filled with different varieties of coffee makers over the years? Is he a secret member of the Good Housekeeping Institute? Doubtful. It's doubtful that my brother can have trustworthy opinions on anything. After all, this is the boy who keeps his condoms in a see-through plastic drawer in the room he shares with my mother's boyfriend's eleven year old son. He doesn't seem able to grasp things like common sense or tact.
When I walked into the kitchen, my brother stopped me so he could discuss both the deliciousness of dill pickle chips and the wild wonder that was his new coffee maker. "It's for deer season," he explained to me. "It runs on 650 volts."
There is no need for him to be worrying about how many volts a coffee maker runs on. There's a generator--giant, red, sputtery--back at the cabin, and it's been in use for many, many years. It can power up televisions, radios, lights, and normal-sized coffee makers. When I asked him why he wasn't using it, my brother looked at me like I was a moron.
"Because it scares away the deer," he says. "Why would we want to scare the deer away when we're back there to kill them?"
I have news for my brother. The population of deer in the woods doesn't generally loiter around the cabin anyway. And if he thinks the generator emits so much noise that it would startle all the deer in a fifteen mile radius, causing them to rear up and bolt for the Canadian border, then he's got another thing coming. But the I'm Very Serious look on his face made me realize he's going to have more than another thing coming.
I didn't say anything, though. I just smiled, ate a chip, and went back into my bedroom.
Later, I came out into the living room. My brother was watching a movie, so I settled into the armchair to half watch/half read a magazine. Five minutes into my sitting there I heard a moist lapping noise. I ignored it. After all, I was reading an article on people who are too guilty, and I suspect my guilty conscience is getting so bloated it's dying to be lanced, so I was fascinated. But the moist lapping continued. When I looked up there was my brother, swiping frosting from the bottom of his cake plate and licking it off his finger very, very slowly. From bottom to top. Elaborate licks. He scoured his knuckles and the divots between fingers. And then it was clear that he saw me watching, because he began flicking his tongue in an even more devoted manner.
And then I committed the ultimate faux pas. I asked him to please stop. Please stop. Here's an interesting thing about my brother: it seems he gets angrier when people ask him things politely. If I'd said to him, "Hey, stop fucking licking your fingers, you nasty thing," it's possible he might've stopped. But because I accidentally said please, he glared at me over the tips of his fingers.
"Just shut up," he said. "Read your magazine."
And then he continued to lick, lick, lick. He started licking even louder. He wiggled his tongue in every crevice on the surface of his hand. It looked almost like a scene from a Saved By The Bell-ish teen show, where the main character was worrying about his first kiss. How would it go? How would it feel? What would he do? What moves did he have available to him? And then he would try it out on his hand to see how it all looked.
Needless to say, I left the room. It was just too much. I didn't want to hear him lapping almond paste from his fingers or see what it must look like when his face is hovering millimeters from some girl's, ready to ravish her with his scratchy gross boy tongue. After all, there's only so much a girl can handle on a Saturday afternoon.