So the deal with my brother Charlie and me…I understand it’s probably something that I haven’t explained much, or very well. That’s because it’s complicated.
Charlie and I never really got along. We weren’t outright enemies or anything, but we just never seemed to jive in any way at any age and once he flew the coop for Delaware, I all but exercised him from my life.
There were countless small riffs between the two of us, but the biggest one stemmed from our parents’ obsession with his baseball career and their disinterest with my softball career. Yes, Charlie was the best baseball player in town, but I was the best softball player in town from about age six, and my parents missed me playing about half the time because they would never miss a Charlie game to go watch my small potatoes of throwing a larger ball, underhanded to other girls.
Yes, it was as petty as that, but also, Charlie was a boy, and five years older than me, so there was a gender and age disconnect as well. We just never really had a reason to connect, so it was incredibly easy to disconnect once the opportunity presented itself. It was like that long pause the person on the other end gives five minutes in that allows you to broach the topic of hanging up.
That’s what happened. That’s why I have only talked to Charlie once, briefly, at our dad’s funeral, since he left all those years ago.
Now here we were, with the both of us creeping around our hometown with me not possessing a single clue to why he might be back in town.
I actually waited on submitting my answer into the crossword so I could do some very important Google searching about Charlie. I hadn’t followed his baseball career in years, but from the occasional times it came up in my conversations around town, it always seemed everyone was hinting that it could be on its last legs and since no one had even brought it up in at least a year, I wondered if he was even still playing anymore.
My Google searching was instantly curious. It confirmed that Charlie’s American baseball career was over, but his international career may not have been and that his U.S. playing days ended in an embarrassing blaze.
Apparently Charlie started an epic brawl in what ended up being his last minor league game. Online reports suggested he purposely beaned three-straight batters and then charged the dugout of the opposing team. The online reports also theorized that he may have done this so he could be expelled from the league a few weeks before he would have officially become the oldest player in the history of the lowest level of minor league baseball.
Online articles dated after Charlie’s on the mound meltdown mentioned that he had signed a contract to play in the Dominican Republic. I couldn’t believe my brother who barely even had a handle on the English language had lived in a country which speaks a different language, but then again, I knew almost nothing about him.
Maybe he never even made that trip to the Caribbean though as it appeared he had taken up bumming around our hometown and injecting me with a slow drip of growing fear.
But back to the crossword. Charlie probably just wanted to go back to the last place where he was a big shot and fart around like all depressed, washed-up athletes, myself included.
Worked for the question about the storage unit.
What is Charlie’s favorite color?