22 December 2009

Kurt Cobain

Naturally, my brother is incredibly weird. Like my dad, he has gone through lots of....let's call them "phases." He is almost like an actor taking on new parts every few years. So, I thought I would write about some of my favorites....

When I was about 10 (Eric = 12) my mom came into my room and asked for all of my markers. Obviously I loved coloring and had LOTS of markers. After collecting the markers, she threw them away and told me that they were banned from our house. Confused and sad, I asked why. She refused to answer but once my dad came home from work, it was all out in the open. Eric, a tough hoodlum, had taken up "tagging." He decided to mark up the bathroom in Hebrew school. Of course he denied it to my dad (my dad always encouraged us to be like Republicans and deny, deny, deny). Best line spewed across the house from my dad (trying so hard not to laugh)… “Eric, it’s hard to deny tagging the bathroom door when you write ERIC HELLMAN FOREVER.” 

The year Kurt Cobain died, Eric was 14. That year, Eric had become very “Seattle.” Of course he cried and cried (Eric cries a lot). I felt badly but that soon faded as his sadness turned to fear. He had to sleep in my room for 2 weeks. Naturally at 12, I tried to reason with him--- Eric, you have control of killing yourself, what’s there to be scared about?” He called my insensitive and when I refused to let him “sleepover,” he resulted in guerilla warfare squirting soap all over my bed so I had to sleep in the extra room, which conveniently, he was already in.

Age 16 was a year filled with anger.  I’d like to blame it on hormones but that was probably not the culprit since Eric had facial hair at 11. Anyways, long story short, there was a tennis match and a racket and he may or may not have thrown at a coach. Being Jews in LA, the solution was sending Eric to a therapist (oddly named Eric).  I knew Eric (my brother, not the therapist) was feeling a bit shameful so I wanted to make him feel better. I asked my dad to take me to the mall. I searched for the perfect gift and I found it…a shirt that said—“I’m special” with a rainbow. I  was so proud of myself!  When I gave it to Eric, he started to cry and threw it at me… guess that was the wrong gift?

As an “adult” Eric went through a pimp stage. Now I cannot go into this phase since most of it was horrible but here are some highlights--- getting a pink Gucci bag in the mail with a note that said “love u lil sis,” being sent with Amie to London for a week and having Eric pay for it, getting flowers weekly. It was awesome to feel like a kept woman. I miss those days.....

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