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My Brother, the Freak

My brother is the normal sibling. He does normal seventh grade boy things, like playing Minecraft and video games where gang members shoot each other. He was born July 15th, 2000. He’s three-and-a-half years younger than me, and not nearly as awesome. He’s actually boring, but slightly interesting in his own way.
He stays to himself, always in his room. Except for yelling at me about how stupid I am, he’s pretty quiet around other people. The only time he has a personality is around our neighbor’s middle daughter. The neighbor picks us up from school, and as soon as John and Hannah get together, they fight about superheroes, they compare different video games, they talk about those awful Hunger Games books. Secretly, I ship the two of them. Not now, but when they’re in college or something, I totally ship it.
My brother has a bird in his room. A living bird. In his bedroom. Like, a living bird-like creature resides in our house. In his room. Its name is Paula. A twelve year old boy didn’t name his bird Spiderman or Ron Weasley - he named it Paula. I think it’s a cockatiel, if that’s a thing. He feeds it birdseed and it has a cage and stuff. He’s really obsessed with parrots, and he wants to be an ornithologist when he grows up. That’s kind of odd.
He plays the saxophone. Like, really well. He started two years ago. He took private lessons for about a year, but he quit because he said the teacher smelled like pot smoke, even though I’m certain he doesn’t know what that smells like. When he came to Piedmont Charter this year, he was too good for the seventh graders, who were just learning to play their instruments. They bumped him up to the eighth grade band, and he’s going to some audition thing in January.
He hates everything I like, and yet, the same thing always happens with tv shows. I’ll start watching it and tell him to watch it. He’ll refuse and make fun of it. Three months later, he’s obsessed with it. The same thing happened with Les Miz. He’s always been indifferent about the plays I’ve been in that he’s been forced to see, but when I was in Les Miz this summer, he became obsessed with it. He knows all of the words, and has watched all of the concert versions. What twelve year old boy can say that? He’s already been saying that the new movie with Hugh Jackman that comes out on Christmas is his favorite movie, and he’s never even seen it. That’s weird.
Still not convinced he’s a freak? He does other weird stuff, too. He’s a twelve year old boy who reads the Twilight books. And not to pick up girls. He’s recently become infatuated with it. He even dragged my dad to go see that new movie the weekend it came out. I personally do not live that kind of life, so I went to see Wreck-It Ralph. And yes, I did cry. It was an amazing movie.
Most people might think I’m weird, but if you look at my brother, the normal one in the family, you’ll see that he’s probably slightly stranger. After all, which one of us is stranger? The one who is best friends with (and probably has a latent love for) the girl next door, or the one who hangs around theatres with loud nerds? The one who has a pet bird named Paula, or the one with a pet lizard named Lemon after her favorite tv show (my favorite tv show, not the lizard’s)? The saxophone genius or the one with a ukulele she knows a few chords on? I am openly a freak, but I think that because my brother is more “normal” than I am, that makes him a little bit more of a freak.



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