My older brother has recently moved to North Dakota for work. Brrrrr. Sounds pretty bad, but not as bad as when you consider he has a pretty sweet beard and he loves hot coffee. He might have been made for the great white north, eh. (Is North Dakota the great white north? He said he was closer to Canada than Kansas. So I'm going to say, 'yeah it is' feel free to correct me in the comments section. Our little Dorothy (Joey) is not in Kansas anymore).
The reason I mention the "Joe Man" (as he is sometimes called in certain computer game situations, I can only assume this call sign comes from Top Gun, as some kind of play on Ice Man. This is only reinforced by his propensity to say, "You know why I don't like you?! Cause you're dangerous." And then he bites/clicks his teeth right in my face. True Story) (whew another long aside!) (One day I will just write an entire post in parenthesis. Cut out the middle man. Now back to my original sentence, which began way at the beginning of the paragraph....) is that he is integral to my story.
Before he left, he and I took a trek to Manhattan Kansas, to visit the third brother (if we were the brothers' Karamotsov he would be Alyosha) (*Liturature Reference High Five*). (What's better is the analogy really does work for him if you've read the novel) The third brother is dating a girl that is a few years younger than himself. She is 20 and he is 24. Not totally ridiculous. But, lets call a spade a spade, one must ask, "I wonder if there is a maturity gap there?" But whether it's to Paige's credit or Matt's arrested development (wait is that a thing? or just a tv show?) I really don't think there is. They are good together. However, as Joe and I have recently discovered, the fast paced world of college 20 year olds is behind us. And what's sad is that we came to this realization when doing the most relaxing non-fast-paced of activities: getting Coffee.
Now realizing you are too old is traumatic, realizing you're too old while getting coffee... that is something I was just not prepared for. Anyway, Paige joined Alyosha, Joe Man and myself for coffee before we set out for the evening's activities. Great! Paige brought two of her sorority sisters. (At the risk of sounding creepy:) Great! Or so I thought....
They spoke so fast....
About so many different people...
AAARRGG! I couldn't keep up! It was like a twitter feed was coming out of their mouths and beating me about the face while periodically interrupting the beat down with bursts of laughter. Yeah. Horrifying. I tried to be entertaining, clever and funny. I don't think it worked. They just kept on with their conversations at break neck speeds.
"YIP YIP YIP YIP!"
"GIGGLE" GIGGLE" "GIGGLE"
"YIP YIP YIP YIP"
That was about all I gathered. I looked over at Joey. His brain hole was experiencing the same kind of whip lash. But the Joe Man was not bested. No. He stood up with his coffee slowly. Walked back over to the barrista counter and ordered something else. He came back and listened quietly. Something was different. He sipped his cup with self satisfaction. He had the solution. I didn't know until later, but he had put a double shot of whiskey in his coffee. An inventive, simple response to the realization you are too old for your present company. But...let us be honest, maybe a little bit of an alcoholic's response as well.
Now that my brothers and my younger brother's girlfriend won't be speaking to me as I have undoubtedly offended them with this post, maybe I should sit back and sip some Irish coffee. Maybe read a book, complain about some youngsters, while wearing slippers and a sweater vest, and toast to my aging ears and to silence.
I thought about including below an Irish Drinking song written by Matt (Alyosha) that, I like to think, was written partly about the Joe Man and partly about Matt's truly alcoholic friends, whom I have great love an affection for, despite their tragic flaw. BUT Matt, through indifference or negligence, never sent it to me and, as I wrote this post for November, I thought it was time to post. I can always ad it later.