My sister is home visiting for a few weeks. She has the summers off and seeing as how she is pregnant, her best friend is getting married, my father is going to have major surgery, and she wasn’t here for Christmas, she figured now would be a good time to revisit the place we all called home. She has considered Minneapolis her home for quite some time now but I suspect Rochester will always be her “home”, but for me this place, this house has not been a “home” for quite sometime. In fact I am not sure this place has ever been a home to me.

Mom is so advantageous when my sister comes home. The house always spotless, refrigerator always stocked, intricate meals always prepared. Why just the other day she proclaimed to me and my friend that Katie(my sister) is indeed my father and mothers favorite child. She is by all accounts the most well behaved, the best educated, and the most presentable of my parents three children. Alex(my brother) although socially inept, always unkempt looking, irresponsible, and an all around nut bag is most likely the second favorite child. Even despite his problems with the law, drugs, and mental instability, I am sure that the folks would proudly proclaim him as their son in a heart beat. Then there is me. I think I rank 5th on the list of favorites, slotted in right behind the two cats, however it must be said that my father is not a huge fan of the cats; so if we average my mother and fathers power rankings I may come in at a solid forth. Why so low on the totem pole you might ask. Well it is very simple really, I didn’t and do not accept that love is all that matters in a family, especailly a family that is beholden to a TRA.

Now I mention my sister and brother to set the scene. Dad was down at the lake house that night checking up on the family friends that were staying there for the week. I came home late from work because I stopped off at Starbucks to get a coffee per my usual end of day routine. One of my best friends works there and is going through a sour patch so I waited for him to take break and we conversed and smoked cigarettes.

So I came home and walked up to my room, changing out of my work attire I turned on the ceiling fan to help squelch the stifling heat. Mom was buzzing about the kitchen getting things together for the grand meal she had prepared in celebration of my sisters first day home. I stayed in my room and played video games trying to zone out from the hectic work day. Now, had my sister not been in town I do not think I would have received a call from the kitchen informing me that dinner was ready. I have become quite accustomed to this as usually the family dines without me, neglecting to inform me that anything has been prepared and that I am welcomed to join in. This is fine, I mean really I am 22 and should really be on my own providing for myself, but whatever. Tonight I was summoned for dinner.

So Katie called me down to the kitchen to join them in the big meal mom had slaved over. So I paused my game and went shuffling down into the kitchen. Ribs, glazed pork chops, garlic green beans, mashed potatoes with chives, and a salad that consisted of spinach mandarin oranges and shaved white onion all adorned the table. Even the fancy glass water pitcher, nice silver, and fancy plates were all brought out for this meal. I often wonder if when I go away will such a fuss be made over my return, probably not, lest we not forget I probably rank 5th.

We sat there eating, somewhat conversing (me doing little to provide to the conversation), my brother farting as loud and as crass as he could, mom looking over with discontent. Side note: I can’t even look at him anymore, his presence alone makes me sick. To think that I am supposed to be cordial to such a disgusting human being. It is in our last name alone that we find commonality, for if it were not for this and the fact that we have spent most of our lives together I would have no hesitation cutting down such a vile person. It is to be said that in the past week I have decided to no longer consider him a brother and he is officially written off as nothing more than a person I know through mutual acquaintance.

I am not sure what we were all on about, I believe mom was talking about how despite my Aunt’s humble upbringing she always fancied herself higher than her actual lot in life. That is when the subject turned to me. It was her sharp little words, the tone in her voice, the cold fire in her stare. It was at this point I knew God was not a genie. You can’t just call on him and expect him to grant your every wish. For at that moment I prayed for death. In my mind I closed my eyes, crossed myself like a good Catholic boy, and put my hands together and pleaded with God to strike me dead right where I sat. I wanted all of this pain, all of this anger, all of this sadness to go away. I wanted to float up to a place where my head no longer pounded with thought and contemplation and my heart no longer cried out with sadness, I wanted a place where I could escape all of these feelings, a place where I could rest. But God is not a genie.

She sat there stared right at me and said “but I guess love is not good enough, love is not enough to sustain and please my boys”. It cut me, those words ripping right at my heart. I knew then what I have been thinking all along. That I have been a dissapointment, that I am not what my parents expected when they decided to adopt all those years ago. I have hurt them with my rejection of thier love and my desire to seek out who I am. The fact that I have not been their lap dog, their little china doll pains them, and it pains me too. At that moment I wanted to die and aleviate all of our suffering. To take away all of the let down that has followed my into my years of manhood. I knew I should not feel sorry for feeling this way, for feeling like I have let them down in some way, but I did. I have hurt them and made them sad because I have discovered needs and desires which don’t coincide with their own dreams of what I was to be. I know it’s not my fault and that both my parents and I should just try and be as compassionate to eachother as the situation would allow and hopefully we can move forward and create some sort of working amicable relationship. But this is my burden, this is an adoptee’s burden.

This concept of tip toeing around the issues, like a presidential hopeful. The idea of being subservient to those who so “lovingly” brought me into their home and hoped for a smooth assimilation. The notion that I would be just like their natural born children. The racism, the alienation, responsibility of two lives. These are all my burdens. And without any mind paid to me and my feelings I am supposed to carry this and do my damnedest to not hurt anyones feeling. This of course while my innards are ripped to shreds, my self image and identity crushed, and my sense of security all but destroyed. But I am tired and worn now and I just want to die. If only God was a genie at that moment he could have granted me that pleasure.

We finished up and before my brother scooted off to do God knows what he looked me down and explained what a disappointment I have been to the family for not cutting the lawn. That dad told him how let down he was that I had not been more helpful. Thanks ass hole, if you only knew what pain I feel you might not be so quick to add insult to injury even if you words were minor. The fact that a degenerate fuck like you could lay even another tiny burden upon me makes me writhe with anger and sadness. So I kept quiet because that’s what adoptees do right. When confronted with such emotion and suffering we shut up shop and let what’s said be said. Then we run to our computers and say all the things we wished we were allowed to say to our AP’s. We console one another in our tiny community and we accept *hugs* from complete strangers over the internet.

I told her it was a great meal and that she did a wonderful job on the ribs and shuffled back up to my room. Sister and mom went for a walk along the canal and Alex was no where to be seen. I sat there in the heat staring at the TV, the paused screen of my video game. I was loosing to Middlesbrough 2-0. Again I prayed to God maybe a little more loud this time, hoping that he would heed my call, nothing. So I did the only thing that seemed sensible at the time, I smoked. I walked out to my car lit up another cigarette, took a deep inhale and let go.

As I watched the smoke float upwards towards the evening sky, the sun still peeking over the tree tops, the warm summer breeze tossing my now longish hair, I prayed again. This time to RJ Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel cigarettes. For all the piss that people take out of smoking and smoking related death, I figured who other than RJ Reynolds to heed my call for death. I hoped that this one cigarette would be the one to do me in. But alas it was not to be, as it turns out a lifetime of smoking is needed before it actually kills you. FUCK. What a shitty product. For all the lobbying and all the campaigning and all the studies and commercials that claim smoking kills, This product comes up short when I need it most. Why then does this product not perform as advertised. Bullshit I tell you. Oh well one more disappointment, per the norm.

God, Mr. Reynolds, Magic Genie, if your listening………….could you hook a brother up.