Silence of the Siblings

My family have all gone away for the week, leaving just me and my 16-year-old brother here. So things are exceptionally boring around here. And quiet.

My brother spends all day playing first-person shoot ’em ups on the internet, and in the past few years has become a rather anti-social person – he won’t even answer the phone or the front door – so conversations between me and him are rather short at the moment. I hope it doesn’t last because I recall that me and him used to get on extremely well, playing games together, and generally making each other laugh.

There is also the other annoyance factor that he is somewhat incapable of looking after himself. When he comes out with the excuses like “but I might put the gas on and forget to press the ignition button!”, you would normally think it’s just the latest desperate attempt by a teenager to avoid taking responsibility for themselves, and to be as lazy as possible. Not so. When he says it, he actually means it. The times he has been left on his own he has done exactly that, or he has starved because there was no food in the house and he wouldn’t go the shop to get some. It’s almost as if he does it deliberately in order to get out of a situation and get someone else to look after him. The other day when my sister asked him to mind her house for a couple of days, he said, “You can’t trust me! I might set fire to the house!” Suffice to say, she has decided against letting him stay.

So I’m trying to show to him how to cook the most basic of foods. At the moment he is able to put a pizza in the oven, turn it on properly (the important bit!) and take it out again. Yet, the other day I couldn’t help but laugh when he asked me “What gas mark should I use to cook this scone?”. Yes. He was putting a scone in the oven. It’s going to take a while.

Meanwhile, there is something about the subconscious mind that fascinates me. I woke up at 3am this morning to the sound of my house phone. It was loud and noisy. But it rang only once. It was still dark, and because there was only me and my brother in the house, I was, to put it bluntly, terrified. I’m not used to being the only person in the house with Responsibility… and I try to put it out of my head at night that someone could burgle the house and I’d be the one who’d have to deal with it. Normally someone else would deal with it… here my mum and dad, and in Hull I had a load of housemates to help. But last night it was just me. So I try not to think about it.

So what does my subconscious mind do? Yes… it dredges out those thoughts and wakes me up at the most scary of times with the sound of the phone ringing. Just as you might see in a film as the thunder crackles and lightning flashes while the protaganists hide in the cupboards. Then the Evil Scary Man knocks the door down and the party begins…

Of course the ringing wasn’t real. It was just in a dream. But at the time I was convinced it was. It was only when I phoned 1471 this morning I finally knew that there was no call last night. But I couldn’t get out of bed to find out, I was that worried. I just had to go back to sleep.

So thanks, brain, for scaring me needlessly.

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