Joe called my parents’ house last night. Dad was already asleep, so I picked up.
“Mary Ann?” the man on the other end of the line asked.
“No, this is her daughter,” I replied.
Within seconds, my brother had been handed the phone and began a 20-minute rant. He was manic, speaking at an extremely rapid pace, one thought blending into another:
“I’m in Colorado Springs, at a concert, he’s about ready to begin another set, I love you, how are the kids, are Mom and Dad ok, remember when we were kids, I haven’t touched drugs since 2014, I love you, September 16 I had a major heart attack, thought I was gonna die, I’m sorry everybody is disappointed in me, I never meant to do anything wrong, I love you, I never really hurt anybody, I hope I see Mom and Dad again before I die, . . . ”
The conversation went on and on, and I found myself attempting anything to end it.
At least half of what Joe uttered was untrue. Some was complete nonsense. The last bit was based loosely in reality.
As I’ve written before, my brother is mentally ill, bipolar with signs of schizophrenia. But he’s also a long-time addict, liar and abuser. It’s not easy to reconcile these many sides of Joe, or to forgive and forget.
I’ve spent 53 years trying to survive as his sister. I’m tired. I imagine Joe is tired, too.