“Eric.” It sounds like the title of some claymation film. But more Mary and Max than A Close Shave. But I thought it might be a compelling title to this article. I had been thinking of trying to make these 8:05 posts more often little personal essays where I talk about the things that are on my mind or conscience or whatever. I was really thinking about that.
Then last night, as it must to all men, death came to my brother Eric. It was not a shock, because he had been ill. But it was surprising, because he had been on the mend. In fact, he died in a physical therapy facility. But maybe the doctors were lying to us. Doctors are actually more scummy than lawyers. But I spoke to him within 12 hours of his death, and he sounded great — better than he had sounded in a very long time — eager to get back home.
And then I got the call. That’s when all hell broke lose with calls to and from everyone involved. And then there is the practical side of things: getting him to a mortuary, making “plans,” and so on. These are the only things I can even vaguely manage with the slightest amount of composure.
People who have been reading this blog for a long time know Eric. He’s my older brother who I used to take to the movies to watch films that almost always offended me. That’s because he liked action films. He was also a hardcore Christian and politically conservative. It’s amazing to think, because my brother was fragile, and part of my liberalism is about taking care of people like him. He was no more in control of his life than any of us are — that is: not at all.
It was nice over these years to get to know him. But now it seems downright creepy, because I reacquainted myself with him to a large extent because I knew that he wouldn’t live long. And it was great to see him open up to me over time. Eric was not one to let people into his world because he had be so badly scarred from the past. I could explain that more, but it seems wrong. Let it rest at this: some people are born to be abused and other are born to abuse. And they always find each other.
The last time I was actually with Eric was at his apartment. We watched the new Star Wars film together. I had been planning to bring over the 3-hour cut of King Kong (2005) for us to watch. I know he would have loved it.
–Tanya in Touch of Evil.