“He’s a good man, that Charlie Brown.”
No, Charlie Brown isn’t his real name, but the expression seems to fit. He’s done some pretty interesting things, gone some pretty interesting places and met some really interesting people all along the way. He’s made an honest attempt at an honest life. The only words inscribed next to his name in the Holy Book of Life Everlasting, if said book does indeed exist, should simply be,
Anything else written about him or anyone else for that matter, seems to me now as simply frivolous and as time progresses, increasingly-less important. So as one frivolous and increasingly-less important point begets another, allow me to continue. Oh, Lord…forgive me my frivolousity!
But I digress…
My brother has had an affinity for Laz-E Boy reclining armchairs since he was four years old, the first time he ever sat down in one. If blindfolded and placed inside a foreign living room and told to sit down, “I.” could verify not only the authenticity of said Laz-E Boy, as there are countless hundreds of knock-offs out there, but also the make, model and, judging on the amount of “give” in the cushions and “spring” of the, well, springs, the age of the armchair in question.
He knows a helluva lot more about them, but that’s all that I can remember him mentioning to me right now, off the top of my head. I used to blindfold him in furniture stores and test him out. He never got one wrong. He could usually guess the color correctly too…blindfolded. Some people know all about wine. My brother knows all about Laz-E Boy reclining armchairs.
His obsession with armchairs ended up suiting him just fine. Iihyheai Wynn, my older brother, worked quite happily moving furniture for 23 years.
Iihyheai has also “suffered” from autism. My brother I. is autistic. His brother, me, has probably “suffered” more from being, simply, artistic.
I once told him that since he had autism, then that made him an “autist.” He was quite proud of this. He smiled big.
“Yea…I’m an autist!”
He’d walk right up to someone in the frozen food section and reveal his diagnosis to them as if they had been lifelong friends.
“Hey! I’m an autist!”
If his mark were too polite to simply run away, they might respond with something like…
“Oh…you’re an ‘artist,’ huh?”
My brother would correct them,
“No…my brother, Y. Wynn, he’s the artist. I’m an aut-ist.”
Then, if whoever my brother had had cornered next to the crinkle-cut spuds were either too polite for their own good, or perhaps they were seriously invested into the enforcement of maintaining grammatical purity in the language of the everyday person, (and there are far more grammar Gestapo out there than one might think) then they might persist with something like;
“Hmm…’Ryan’s’ an ‘artist.’ How interesting!” and they’d rush off to find the chickpeas.
My brother got frustrated with people like this.
“Who’s ‘Ryan,’, Y. Wynn?”
He’d look at me with the Questioner’s eyebrow going full-force. What’s the Questioner’s eyebrow, you ask as your outer left brow rises and your inner right brow lowers, wrinkles forming like fleshy sets of incoming waves over the long smooth plane of your forehead, making your wavy brow pay homage to that ol’ faithful levee that held on through the storm?
Oh, never mind.
Everybody called my brother “autistic,” but I think that he simply resided above and beyond all the silly business of “humanity” and its many tangled snares, pitfalls and loopholes. My brother, I. Wynn, simply was I. Wynn. He saw other people simply as whoever they said they were and whatever they acted like.
If and inevitably whenever I’d be forced to explain the irratic behavior of “normal” people like this grammar Gestapo character in the frozen foods isle to my brother, I’d usually just tell him not to worry about it.
“Don’t worry about it, I., They thought that you had mispronounced my name or something.”
Then I. might get slightly self-conscious. His voice would squeak a little.
“Oh, did I say something wrong?”
He really did try his damnedest to roll with the ever-crashing tides of human society.
“No, I., you said everything just fine.
They’re just retarded.”
Then my brother and I would both have a good laugh. My brother always got my jokes immediately. It varies drastically with everyone else. Our family has always practiced a peculiar brand of comedy. I think its best illustrated by the way our parents chose to name us.
My brother’s name was Iihyheai Wynn. My own name is Yyweilje Wynn. We were born, we screamed, and the sound of our first respective breath in this life became our first respective name that would follow us all the way through it. Mother wanted each first name to be punctuated with an exclamation mark, but Father wouldn’t stand for it. He said that the exclamation mark part was completely up to us.
I’ve never minded my name, neither did Iihyheai, but for the sake of everyone else, I chose early on to simply go by “Y.” My brother, although four years older than me, pretty much just went along with whatever I thought was best, so he became simply, “I.” So that makes us I. Wynn and Y. Wynn.
I’ve always referred to us like this;
“This is I., and I go simply by Y.”