Monday, April 21, 2008

Yes, I live with my brother.

In a nutshell: Neither one of us can afford to live alone, at least in a reasonable neighborhood, (meaning Capitol Hill) and neither one of us have any desire to live in a cheap studio apartment in Lake City or Rainier Valley.

Answers to frequently asked, and rather annoying questions:

1)yes, we are both gay. Other interesting tidbit: on our paternal side there are 8 cousins. Out of the 8, at least 4 are known or strongly suspected of being gay/lesbian.

2)no, we do not, have not and will not be sexual with each other; we didn't even play 'Doctor' with each other as kids. (I played samesex 'Doctor' with three separate boys as a pre-pubescent. As far as I am aware, all three are currently heterosexual). The gay brothers/fathers/cousins scenario seems to be a fantasy of many gay men, one flamed by excessive reading of First Hand magazine and excessive viewing of certain, cretinous porn films. As for the dimwittted straights who entertain this notion, I think a lot of them assume that all gay men are amoral monsters out casually fucking any same sex thing that gets in their path, regardless of age or biological relation. And whenever morons have raised this question with us, to our face, our standard response is, "Do you have a sexual attraction towards YOUR siblings or other family members?" The vast majority of people indignantly say, "Of course not!" The ones that reply "yes, I have the hots for my brother/sister!" we immediately shun and spit upon. To sum this up in a word: EWWWWWWWWW!!!!

3)yes, it was supposed to be a temporary thing. We moved up here at the end of 2000 and shared a horrid place in Lynnwood for a year then began looking for individual places to live in the city. Not long after we started looking, my brother called me while I was at work. He'd been looking on the Hill for apartments and had discovered that La Ocho, (a pseudonym), the fabulous old apartment building that we both loved, had a for rent sign for a 2 bedroom apartment. We had both dreamed of living at La Ocho; it was everything we wanted in an apartment; it was old and charming and had a huge courtyard and hardwood floors and a balcony and you could paint the walls and it was on the Hill but not down by noisy, dirty Broadway and it reminded us both of Mrs Madrigal's house from Tales of the City. After talking it over, we decided to go for it and put in an application and since neither one of us could afford to live there alone, and neither one of us really knew anyone in Seattle to roommate with, we'd continue to be roommates for another year until one of us could afford to move out and the other one could afford to live there alone, or find a roommate or trap a husband. Well, that was almost 6 years ago. A month after moving in, Chris lost his job. He had another within a few weeks, but still, it put us behind. A year later, I lost my job and it took a couple months to get another. These and other sundry financial disasters, have kept us about a paycheck away from homelessness for the last 6 years. I suppose the smart thing to do, would be to move out of our rather expensive apartment and find something cheaper, but affordable, attractive and convenient apartments are impossible to come by and to be honest, I'd rather live with my brother, in an apartment I love, in a building I love, in a neighborhood I love, than have to live by myself in a shitty apartment in a shitty building in a shitty,distant neighborhood where'd I'd constantly be commuting to and from. We have to make choices in life, and seldom is the choice you make free from any problems, complications or contradictions...

4)yes, it does hinder our individual romantic lives. Neither one of us is very comfortable entertaining gentlemen callers in our house while the other brother is home. (for that matter, when I've lived with non-relatives as roommates, I didn't much enjoy hearing their cries of passion in the middle of the night, either. Sex moans from strangers and film performers are amusing and/or erotic. Sex moans from relatives/friends are ooky and disturbing...) We either arrange to have the house to ourselves for such entertaining or more commonly, spend the night at our gentlemen friend's homes.

5)on the plus side, when you live with relatives, there are few secrets, you share a common bond/upbringing, and there's probably fewer problems about stuff and space issues. If you suspect a roommate of swiping your best tie, or borrowing a dvd without asking or never buying any milk, then you have to decide the best way to bring up the problem to deal with the situation. With relatives, you just break into their room and steal your stuff back or yell at them, making sure to bring up similar incidents from your common history and/or vowing to tell all your friends their deepest/darkest secrets: "Hey asshat, quit swiping my clothes without permission or I'm telling everyone about how you got sent to juvie for burning down that church when you were 12!"

6)that being said, I think we both dream of the day that we will be free of the tyranny of each others most irritating habits, like leaving bawled up Kleenixs all over the place during allergy season, or putting ridiculously large pieces of bulky trash in the bathroom trashcan, (old jeans or big shoe boxes) instead of just taking them to the dumpster/recycling bin in the alley, or the diametrically opposed ways we each do dishes or the endless piling of books all over the house or the careless stacking of loose dvds/cds next to the dvd player or computer or the irritating habit of not cleaning the frother on the cappuchino machine, or....

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