And now there are five

There are 6 children in my family.  One girl (the oldest) and 5 boys.  I am the oldest boy and since my father died in 1975 I am the supposed Patriachal figurehead.  The 5th child, a blonde haired blue eyed scamp, did not wake up this morning.  He was 48 years old.  He had battled drug and alcohol addiction his entire life.  Some battles he won, some he did not.  He had one last good rally, kicking heroin and alcohol, and was living on his own in Texas.  The damage done to his body was severe.  He has broken his back at some point during his drug and alcohol fueled downward spiral, and it went untreated for some time.  How fucked up is your life that you can have a broken spine, and not be clued into it?  eek.  He had been shot, beaten almost to death, he spent a good portion of last year in a coma, we thought we had lost him and then he woke up. 
  During  his many years of turmoil I often played the 'bad guy' in the family structure.  I absolutely refused to enable his destructive behaviour.  I did help when he was clean, but when he was not I just couldn't.  Whether this was beneficial or helpful is not important.  If someone is determined to self-destruct no level of support is truely appropriate.  You can't fix what people don't want fixed.  You can't heal them, shield them, you simply cannot love someone back to whole.  sorry, it doesn't work that way.  Makes a good story, a compelling movie, but i can find no evidence to support this practice.  Anyway, I was called by another brother this morning, and given the news.  We don't know why, and that is also irrelevant.  If ever someone was on borrowed time, it was Frankie Joe.  I do not know why I was so calm and seemingly unperturbed by this event.  It is true that he no longer suffers, that he is at peace, and that the days of worrying about his welfare are over.  I should like to believe he rests in his mother's arms in heaven, but who can say.  He was a pleasant man, friendly and people genuinely liked him.  He also stole, lied, and did how many unspeakable acts we shall never know.  Such is the live of many an addict.  My own near-death experiences have offered no clue as to an afterlife.  It was just a shutdown.  A life stoppage.  My faith is shaky at best, and under constant change as i redefine my belief structure to suit my mood.  So i cannot say what has become of this blonde haired blue-eyed boy.  The one who struggled his whole life.  It seems so cruel to live a life of such hardship.  Did he know how awful was his existence?  I once drove past a pan handler at an intersection who looked like him.  Because it was him.  I was in my Jaguar.  That will mess with your head. if not then, later on.  Hello therapy. 
  So this afternoon I was speaking to a dear friend on the phone and wandered outside to let the dog attend to some business .  I looked over and the oleander bush i have re-grown from a stump was in beautiful bloom.  Huge white flowers all over.  It was simply amazing.  I said to myself 'i shall try to think a kind thought about frankie joe everytime i see a white oleander flower'.  I think that would be nice.  I come back inside and try to write a blog entry.  I cannot.  I google my brother's name, just to see what comes up.  A life off the grid is still not invisible, I did find one search record that indicated a man by that name lived in Texas.  I smile.  I google kabukizero, just because i am a self absorbed attention whore.  One of the top five search results is the local Heroin Treatment Facility.  I have never even heard of them.  I have never been in the same room as heroin.  I don't know anyone who used heroin except by departed brother.  Was he saying goodbye?  There are coincidences in life, and then there are shining examples of what i term 'there is more going on than you will ever know'.  You will have to draw your own conclusion, I just smiled and hoped for a better tomorrow.


  1. My condolences to you, kabuki.

    I commend you for not enabling his destructive behaviour and when you say You can't fix what people don't want fixed, you’ve got it right.

    I think you may have mistaken the Heroin Treatment Facility with your name for what is actually a HEROINE treatment facility.

    Your kimono doubles as a cape.

  2. I really believe that google incident was a communique. And if my experience with my brother, who died in '01, is any indication, you haven't heard the last from him yet in all manner of strange, mystical, magical and often downright hilarious 'coincidences'! Stay aware my darling friend.

  3. My heartfelt condolences to you Miss Kabuki.... an end of a chapter. The white olliander is a lovely thought... something that you could save and nurture back to health.
    Your response to the news sounds quite normal for one that has been anticipating "The Call" for many years and thus have done much of their grieving during the waiting time already.

    Tomorrow Will be better....

  4. You knew it would happen. It was just a question of when and how. The cruelest part of the story is that far as you know, he was clean and sober and trying to get it together again. I'm so sorry his life was so difficult and that in the end he died alone. All Gods creatures no matter how troubled deserve better than that. Sending my condolences and prayers your way my friend. Take solace in the fact that he is no longer suffering.

  5. My condolences, Kabuki-san.