Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Who Are These People?

by 'Mean' Mike Duffau (writer), I'm the boss!, December 13, 2007


Do you know your own family?

My brother calls me up around 7pm and he tells me that he's going to send me $250.00 dollars. I say to him, what for? Because this guy came to my shop and offered to buy them, he tells me. I blew a fuse at him for the simple fact that he made a move without talking to me about it first!
My only premier drum set that I own, and this wacko wants to get rid of it. "Who do you think you are, wiseguy?" It's not just a drum set, it's a vintage set circa 1970's. Along with my set he was throwing in all of my snare drum collection, and all vintage as well. It took years of hard work at a drum shop and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to own pieces of musical history. I've put in hours of hard work without pay to learn all there is to know about the drums and drummers.
I worked at a drum shop for store credit and how I got that gig was, I fixed up an old premier bass drum pedal and a snare drum all in working order. I went back and showed the owner of the place that I fixed up the items that I bought from him. He was impressed and hired me on, but he couldn't pay me.

It was an experience that I'll never forget, and all that hard work and the memories down the toilet!

Pleading with my brother and at the same time I'm yelling at him that I have over $1500.00 dollars of vintage equipment over there. Let me remind you folks that my drums are stored away in my brother's cabinet shop in Florida, and I'm over here 2,500 miles in California. He was so kind to hold off on the offer until a larger bid was made on my equipment.

Let me tell you... I dont know these people sometimes, my own family!

I went on a vacation back to Florida in 2005, it was the first time back home since I left in 1999. Sure, the town has changed and to my surprise... So did my folks. My old house looked the same. I went to see the room that I did my growing up in. It was not in the condition that I left it. Yeah, it was cleaned up and buffed out but this was clearly NOT my room. My room looked like a guest room and I felt like the guest in my childhood home. Most of my books were gone. My stereo equipment was not working. Half of my cd's were missing in action. Some of my movie collection magically disappeared. Some of my brother's things were stored in my room and good ol' mom told me not to mess with it. "Who's room is this then?"
I was a sport about it, but the rage was fueling and I couldn't let the folks see it since I've been away for six years. I had to put on the mask which I'm no expert at but I pulled it off.
Am I the blacksheep or just a visiting stranger? When it comes to these family issues, I don't know who I am? I confronted mom if I was adopted, she threw a fit of denial. I didn't bother to ask my old man cause he barely says anything, but he seems to talk to my brothers more than he does with me. Being a stranger is no day at the ball park with people who are family that I don't trust. I felt like I was a kid again always defending myself and my folks backing my brother up and the battles begin.
Growing up, I have two older brothers, not just one or two years older... Try 16 and 11 years older. So I'm just a kid and my brothers' are out of the house starting families of their own, I'm alone. I didn't grow up with these people! I don't know them! They're a whole different generation apart from me.
I caught my folks older in their age and I don't know who they were when my brothers did their growing up. Were they happier? Were they a fun couple to be around with? Were they the life of the party? I couldn't tell you nothing about them! All I have are pictures and a few vague memories. All I know is that they raised me, but who are they and who am I?
Selfish as I am I'll probably go back home for the holidays just to pick up my drums... Say Hi!... Then leave.

What's the moral of all this? I don't know. What can you learn from me? I don't know. Maybe I'm askin' for your help? Maybe I can learn from a stranger?

About the Writer

'Mean' Mike Duffau is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Who Are These People?

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By Credo on December 13, 2007 at 04:10 pm
As I was reading your article I get the feeling that you depend a lot on your people to do things for you, store your prize equipment, and even give up the emotional support that we all need, but there comes a time in everyone’s life that we ultimately must love and respect ourselves enough that we will stop struggling to get outside approval but rather reach inward for inner approval. Your problems are not really unique (even though your story is quite special) and I believe you already know how to remedy them. Get your own place, manage your own property and control your own affairs, hold no grudges, maintain love and move on with your life as an independent adult, then you'll find that serenity. That’s what I did… I respect your most personal examination, and keep in mind that I normally don’t like to give such decisive advice but I believe that you were screaming for it in your article. Hang tight and everything’s going to be alright. Credo
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By Ivan Homeless on December 13, 2007 at 08:03 pm
At least your stuff didn't get sold at a garage sale for 25 bucks only to be told about it later - and my biggest fear? discovering that I am not adopted.
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By icanluvulongtime on December 17, 2007 at 12:16 pm
Hey Champ! I TOTALLY agree with Jen & Tonic and Credo. I think everyone feels like this at some time of their life and it is the "between" years when (in your case) one foot is stuck in Florida still being your parent's kid and one foot in California where you live and have your own life. A change takes place at some point where you view each other as you would a friend, an adult in your life that you share memories with and shared your formative years with. You begin to seek out new ways to relate to them and accept them the way you would someone you choose to spend time with. It will come, go easy on yourself, AND on them. They are just people and have the flaws we all have. Although they do seem to always be the people who can throw you over the edge, don't they? Do not wait until you have an experience like mine to appreciate your brother's. Have a great Christmas Mike.
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