To The Perfect World

My brother Ian has a head like a pumpkin. In shape only, it should be said. He has the head that Charles Shultz was envisioning when he created a kid with a big round head. He also has medical problems that have plagued him since childbirth.

He also said to me once, when I was talking shit about a friend’s girlfriend, ‘there is no way to understand the mysteries and passions of another person’s heart’. He also said, when I was describing an ugly girl as ugly, ‘I don’t think she’s all that attractive, but I would never say anyone was ugly.’ He also pulled me up by my bootstraps when I was at my lowest, he gave me many of my best friends, he brought me my fiance, he has given me everything he has ever had, and has done so willingly and without a thought about being paid back.

My sister Michelle is fatter than she wants to be. She seems to have inherited that pioneer stock that puts away calories as fat, even when she’s burning a couple thousand a day. She is very pretty otherwise, but you couldn’t describe her as thin.

She also marched down to the rubble of the Twin Towers and spent six straight days giving firemen socks and water. She learned to be an EMT soon after and volunteered for the Red Cross. She is an avid vegetarian, a person dedicated to the preservation of animals and people who can’t protect themselves. She is taking French classes right now to be better prepared for the peace corps that she is entering in November. The Peace Corps, where she will be going to Africa to fight AIDs and teach about better ways of farming.

My fiance has a large nose, a great big honking Jewish nose with even a slight bend right below her eyes. Her skin is so pale that I can pick her out of a crowd by looking for a light source. She is five foot ten, and walks as if her legs are owned by two separate men, both of whom are trying to move in independent directions and, at the same time, trying to kill ants.

She is also the kindest woman I know. Her intelligence is matched only by her ability to implement her talents. She is a person who immediately dissects a system and then succeeds within it. She gave me her whole life without knowing what I would do with it, and she continues to give to each person who comes along, again with no guarantees, with no thought or conscience about how she will be re-paid.

She and I will have children. I am shaped like a pear. In fact, my head is shaped like a pear on top of my body that is shaped like a pear. I look like a series of Russian dolls stacked not inside each other, but on top. When we have Joker and Klea, they will probably be awkward, they will probably be kind, and they will probably be harassed by petty jealous assholes out there.

When that happens, I will sit them on my knee and ask them, ‘What do you say? What do you say when someone says your shirt is stupid, or your shoes are gay?’ They will mumble and look down, not sure if they are supposed to repeat what I’ve told them. “C’mon, Joker. Klea, what should your brother say when other kids tell him his skin is too pale or that he’s fat? What do you say when kids tell you that you’re clumsy or ugly? What do you tell them when they say you aren’t cool or hip or street or pretty or rich enough?”

“Go fuck yourself?” she’ll say, remembering.

“Go fuck yourself,” Joker will repeat, now that Klea has said it.

“That’s right my sweets,” I’ll say hugging them. “Just tell them, go fuck yourself.

Go fuck yourself.”