Sometimes, I swear, it seems like I shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Some days, it seems all you can do is get through the best you can without burning the goddamn house down. Okay, so it wasn't all that bad.
My cousin's in town. He's about five years younger than me, and like all my cousins, we were pretty tight growing up. And, like all my cousins, he wonders just what in the hell went wrong with me. My twenties were spent with a good bit of chilly distance between my family and myself, and the vast majority of it was all my fault.
Granted, they didn't expect me to stay weird and that sort of weirds them out. I'm 37 and, thus, should have at least a couple kids by now and at the bare minimum one marriage under my belt. I don't and that ain't right to them. Most of them have shrugged their shoulders and we're back to having a warm relationship that's based on actually being grown-ups, and all their kids are old enough so that we don't mutually freak each other out anymore.
I got another cousin, also male, with whom that chilly distance is still there, but I'm not quite as bothered by that chasm quite as much. He and I have always had a distant relationship, never as close as the others or even his older sister. We're not much different now than when we were back in the day. This cousin in town, though, we played as kids and ran the roads as teenagers. He was the third stooge with my brother and I, and for a short while, it was just him and me.
Thing is, of my cousin's, he's the one walking the weirdest path. It's not as "radical" as mine or my brother's, but it's definitely discussed around the various familial dinner tables, and rather sniffily at that. And his wife is cause for even more comment. Sure, he and I don't see eye-to-eye politically, 'cause FOX News makes even the smartest people believe the dumbest shit, but it's not like the rest of my family are wild-eyed anarchist lefties. 'Course, none of my people are exactly Birchers, either, so that's not it.
I don't know what it is. Even if I did, I don't have any clue how to make it "better" or even what "better" means. He's still my cousin, he's still family, he's still blood, and I'd still do damn near anything to help him or his wife when they need it, and I know they'd do the same for me. That'll never change, and there's comfort in that.
Maybe the whole situations falls forevermore under that sagest of New Orleans nuggets of wisdom:, "it is what it is". Maybe. I do miss us being buddies, though, and I don't know if I'd say that about a lot of folks.