He should write stories about these people, he says. The Frog Man, the couple who can't make up their minds, the clients he fired after showing them dozens of houses and watching them walk away from 9 contracts. My brother is a generous, smart, funny man who tries to pay his bills by selling houses. It's an ever changing market as we all know, and he's on the cutting edge of the economic changes our recession is causing.
He's driven 1800 miles across the country to visit his mother and me. He'll be driving 2100 miles north to Yellow Pine, Idaho tomorrow, his youngest daughter in tow. There is a golf tournament up there on Saturday. You carry only one club in this event; your other hand is used to hold your beer. Apparently, there are not enough straight paths to create anything longer than a 3 par hole. Trees act as barricades and the golf balls must be orange since white ones get lost in the wildflowers. He's not much of a golfer; my niece is his caddy. He's having such a good time thinking about it that I don't have the heart to wonder why he's driving 2000 miles out of his way to drink beer with his friends.
That's the wonder of my brother. There is nothing that's too outrageous, too surprising, too silly for him to consider. In high school he asked a girl to join him on his boat. She wasn't expecting him to show up at her house with an Abercrombie and Fitch Outfitters inflatable yellow float-ready craft strapped to the top of Daddooooo's Oldsmobile. She was even less enthusiastic when she found out she had to paddle if they were ever going to get back to the dock. He couldn't understand her dismay. He had fully expected her to enjoy it as much as he did.
I gave him my Chevy when I bought my first new car and he kept it running, adding oil and gas in equal amounts, until it froze into an icy patch in the front yard of his fraternity house. After the spring thaw, he sold it to a family needing reliable transportation...... reliable being a relative term. He showed no remorse; he'd kept it running and the new owner could, too. He's always had a car and a pick-up truck in his driveway, because clients won't ride in the truck and he just needs to have one handy. And no, he won't help you move.
He has a store of terrible jokes. He remembers the name of every server and cashier and salesperson he encounters, and engages them in meaningless but smile-inducing conversation. He is a repository of useless information. He grows tomatoes and giant pumpkins and several different varieties of lettuce. He's the beadle of his synagogue, a wonderful father, and a creator of wooden toys and boxes and door stops.
He's the only brother I have and I love him. A lot.