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Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006 - 11:35 a.m.

Now, let's talk about betrayal.

(For attentive readers, this should cue the question, "what has your brother done this time?")

Well, what he did was let random people stay in my mother's bedroom for a couple of days while she was away visiting family. They stole most of her jewelry, which wasn't even worth much as far as jewelry goes, but was sentimental stuff like her mother's opal ring, etc. Also, they took some clothes, a picture off the wall, and left cigarette burns on every piece of furniture on her room. Oh, Ray is as sorry as he can be. Those mean people and what they did!

These drunks and how when they get to feeling like the immense failures they are, how they like to act like Big Men, doling out their vast hospitality (even if it isn't really theirs) to anyone who asks. Everyone's best friend.

Has she kicked him out of the house? No. Has she reported the theft, so the police could at least notify pawn shops and try to recover some if it for her? No. Did she report with disappointed amazement that he managed to blow his entire $4000 insurance check for the car in one week, rather than, say, buying another car, much less buying her a new oven, the way he'd promised. Yes, she did. She still managed to sound shocked and disappointed. Me, I wish I could have had money on it, because I would have made a killing (well, the odds were so good, they payout wouldn't have been much, but still).

And so we have to make plans to spend Xmas there; even if we rent a hotel (which we will), I still have to go and be polite to this miserable fuck of a brother of mine. I asked my mom, "what consequences are there for him?" "None." "You know, he's full of shit, and he's going to continue to screw you until the day you die." Yes, I said that. She said, "I know."

But, you know, he has a job again, and she wants him to stay there at least long enough to give her some money. That isn't intended to sound judgmental. I don't blame her: she's broke, she needs money to get from month to month, and he damn sure owes her. She doesn't have the full range of options at her disposal.

So me, with my talk of consequences, what can I do? Not much, except not talk to him, or refuse to go if he's there, or some such. Something that will upset my mother, who would desperately like to once again have something like a normal holiday where everyone is sober and friendly. I'll seem like the troublemaker, the unreasonable one. I mean, if it was just him, that's fine. I don't care what he thinks. But how can I deploy the meager sanctions I have in my arsenal, when they would just end up hurting her more than they would him?

Oh, and don't suggest inviting her anywhere. She's not exactly ready to leave her house in his care again quite yet.

I mean, fuck.

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