Tyler and I got to talking on Friday about his brothers and their relationships. The responsibility they take and the roles they play. The enigmas that exist. How the outside brother in whatever iteration can never really understand how the other two get along so well and what bonds them.
Nikola talks about his brothers too. He’s one of three boys also. And you can’t fully know him without understand the family context. To understand Nikola is to understand the older brothers who shaped him.
Ty and Nikola are two sides of the same coin. Tyler is the oldest of three. Nikola the youngest. Tyler is a scrappy autodidact, as American as Chevrolet or Tom Petty. He’s rough around the edges but self-possessed. Nikola, also super smart and self-directed, feels more continental.
I used to talk about Ty to Nikola and to Nikola about Ty. They knew each other already but they only fell in love after they started playing music together. Now they send each other jokes in the middle of the night. Nikola got Tyler into Revel scooters. They act like brothers because they are primed to understand the nature of that relationship.
Neither of then apologize for their masculinity. That’s rare in this world of simpering men who go around gate keeping the wokeness. Nikola and Tyler say what they mean. Maybe it’s because they come from families of boys. Whatever it is, I love them both so much I beam. I fit into the dynamic in a way I guess that was similar to how I related to the ex and his brothers. But because now I’m grown and self-possessed I don’t worry as much about how or why I fit in. I just do.
There are times when I watch them from a few feet away and the love is so intense that I start praying for them at the tippy tops of their heads. Prayers of protection and appreciation. Let them grow. Let them become their greatest selves. Let them experience love, ecstasy, joy. Let them become fathers and lovers and husbands. Give them the pleasure of bringing joy to the life of a good woman. Let them be silly. Let them be strong. Give them courage. Give them rest.
And then I say a prayer of thanks for my own deliverance to this time and place. I could not have dreamed this. I just had to believe that something was possible. Like a child in Christmas Eve.