I can say the biggest emotion I have towards my brother law is pity: because of the pathetic, brain-dead unemployed mess that he is. That and fear, because I know that eventually he will wind up as a burden on my family, when my Wife and I have no choice to take him in.
In his defence, he's not vicious or mean, or even mean spirited. He's just a loud-mouthed loser pothead who has to assert his useless opinions about everything. He calls himself a musician. This has meant that for the past twenty years he has abused his electric guitar and its twenty or so flangy effects pedals putting together this horrible, neo-psychedelic tinged rip-off of Echo and The Bunnymen and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. He has, get this, been working on the same album for twelve years. Twelve. Nobody dares say anything about it ( I myself am a professional session musician, composer and music teacher.) I might have mentioned Boston's 'Third Stage' jokingly once. Or My Bloody Valentine. Any band that waited for years to produce something tremendous and actually did. (please understand that I am in no way disparaging Echo, BJM or My Bloody Valentine, esp. They are Genius. Its just his lame *** renditions that suck. So we can't accuse him of bad taste at least.)
Problem is, he bears an uncanny resemblance to James Blunt ( minus the thoughtful ex
My father in law is a very conservative Jewish man, prone to anxiety and weeping fits, and a former judge. I've said to my wife "Why don't you tell your dad that he's supplying money and a vehicle to a pot dealer" but I get silenced immediately. It would be 'too much' for my father in law to know the truth. So the charade continues. My father in law, who is cresting 83 and finds the world daunting as it is, turned to me once and asked with complete earnestness "Do you think _______ has a chance in the music business?"
Its all I can do to roll my eyes. He insists at being invited to every family gathering and is furious when we gather without him. Yet he dominates every gathering with loudly voiced boorish opinions that are mostly the rantings of an unhinged pot head with a poly-sci degree. Someone will mention the Beatles and he'll shout "EVERYBODY knows that JOHN LENNON was ASSASSINATED by the CIA." And on he goes. The same for Ufo's, the international monetary fund, 9-11 being an inside job. Last time he insisted that Catholicism had killed far more people than Stalinism, naziism or Maoism and that China was a prime example of a Monotheistic society.
He found a devoted girl two years ago who was the legal secretary for a major law firm. She agreed to sign the lease on a house and move in with him. It was breat old property with fantastic bones and huge amount of potential. He promptly grabbed a sledgehammer and demolished walls and gutted the place without checking where the support walls were. Then he invited his buddy (an punk rock relic and a vile alcoholic, so naturally his best friend) over to help him with a 'renovation' that had them living without electricity and water for nearly nine months. This was in the dead of Canadian winter. The girl, who grew tired of flushing the toilet with a bucket and not being able to work at home, wanted to know where her money was going. He groused about giving any financial accounting of his progress and blew up whenever he was asked, and refused to have a licensed electrician over to check the wiring. He said it was a trust issue. Meanwhile, his girl-friend would find him at the table in their gutted kitchen every night, drunk on tall boys and smoking blunts with his 'renovators.' When she finally received an accounting, it was barely legible and included charges for sandwiches and beer. About three thousand dollars worth of sandwiches and beer. Then she found out he was cheating on her.
After that she rightfully ****** off and sold the house from under him. Then he screamed and fumed about how he'd been cheated out of his property (which he had never legally owned) and extorted his parents for more money so he could hire a lawyer. This resulted in him having to live in my house for a few months. His daily routine consisted of rising at ten in a guest room that very quickly resembled a moldy trash container (except the giant and pristine flat screen tv), stomping downstairs to our front porch to smoke his first joint of the day and shout at people on his cell-phone. He would then go upstairs to try and work on his 'album' on his ****** outdated Dell computer and screaming "FFUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!" every-time his software had a glitch, which was every five minutes. We finally got him out, but he still uses our garage for storage.
Strangely, he was always sarcastic and weirdly contemptuous of my wife and I, who teach, write professionally and work in media and are often very busy at home. He'd creep downstairs with this sardonic grin on his face as we worked away on our laptops, saying "Is this the quiet room, where the working slaves do nothing but work?" Since I have known him (ten years), I have found a new career, earned a master's degree, written and produced a musical, and I'm waiting for a kid. I know the rock n roll life. I've been in three touring bands, and once lived in a derelict artist squat in the Lower East Side. I've also done my share of hard drugs and hard living. Yet here I am, in a house and raising a family. He does nothing. I'd punch him if he weren't so ******* pathetic.
Funny thing is, a lot of his life-long friends are lovely. One of his friends from high-school is prop master for a local theatre, has an awesome wife and kid, a string of interesting music projects and a beautiful. Meaning that other people surround him living a life that he would be comfortable living if he would just pay attention and catch on. We don't turn our noses up at him, and we'd support him right away if he'd show a logical direction and some sanity. It's not like we're shunning him, so what gives? If he came up to me once and said "you know, I'm kind of clueless, loudmouth ******* and I think I need a new direction so I can raise my son properly" I'd work extra hard to help him out. But he refuses to listen, blames everyone else, does next to nothing, and looks terribly hurt if anyone tries to hold him accountable. My wife just shakes her head and says she doesn't know what to do.
There. I'm done.