I watched “Logan” recently and I sobbed my heart out (no spoilers, don’t worry) and felt this terrible aching loss which was more than just the end of a legendary run by Hugh Jackman as “Wolverine/Logan” – something else was also there, at the edges of my awareness… and then in the wee hours of this morning, I think I figured out what it was.
It made me think of my brother – I miss him. He is my Wolverine, my Old Man Logan. He’s grouchy, grumpy and like a bear on the outside, but his heart is huge, his compassion immeasurable. My brother has always (and will always, despite being taken advantage of too many times) stood up for the underdog. For the little guy (or gal) and for the downtrodden. This great, gentle heart makes him vulnerable, and of course when you are someone like that, you HAVE to build walls to keep out the pain and the bad people. I do too, to a certain extent, but I don’t have the level of compassion my brother does, or the solid walls, or the anger at unfair things happening to good people.
He is on my side, no matter what. He would do anything for me, without any questions asked. Anything in his power to help me in some way, if I asked, he would do or give or say or make. He never expects anything in return, either. We have a strange relationship – it’s hard to explain – but we are both extremely close and incredibly different. But we are like no other siblings you’ll find out there. Sometimes, we know what the other needs even if they don’t – without saying a word.
And the heart ache I felt watching Logan, was the pain I felt (and still feel) at leaving my brother behind when I left home.
No more sitting on the edge of his bed while he played games on his computer, sipping tea and munching chips, or watching QI and laughing until we cried. We could sit in silence for hours – it was never uncomfortable or awkward – or we could chat about deep things that we never spoke to other people about. We would talk about his inability to play evil/bad characters in games, despite his best efforts (they always ended up the roguish but kindhearted thief, the barbarian turned protector of the village). Or we could talk absolute crap about all sorts of silly things, and we laughed. He’s one of the few people who make me laugh without trying very hard. (My husband is another.) Despite being his annoying little sister who was never as smart as he was, he never ever made me feel unwelcome or uninteresting to him – my opinion always counted. He taught me so much, but also forced me to learn things on my own so that I could keep up with him – his mind is a maelstrom, but a beautiful one. It runs high – on a different level to most.
I understood his vulnerability and that boiling rage, just under the surface, at the injustice of life, and his huge heart, and I tried to never hurt him intentionally. He totally got my affinity for, and understanding of, the darkness in people, and the monsters in the darkness. I always wanted to know their stories. He always tried to help me find them. I never had monsters under my bed, I was never scared – I had monster friends who kept me safe. And he kept me safe too – always.
I miss him so much some days – even if he’s only a continent away and always available online to chat to – it’s not the same as being in his company, feeling his safe, calm, comforting presence, letting that brilliant mind of his flow free with words… or silence. There is nothing like the bond of siblings and ours is special, even if it’s difficult to explain.