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Broheim Comes to LA

June 30, 2009


This last weekend my brother came up for a wonderful yet brief visit. In classic Madison fashion it was all very last minute (I actually found about about his departure via Facebook), but none-the-less we had a great time. And as always it was great to be able to spend time with my brother.

He arrived late Friday, and we headed out to get drinks with some jiu-jitsu friends of mine. We didn’t stay out too late, for we had some climbing planned in Ojai the next day. Climbing was incredible. The location was just outside of Ojai, at the beginning of the Los Padres National Forest. A winding river cut through tall hills, and tunnels lined the sides where the highway weaved along the slopes. All of the belays were directly from the river, so the entire climb was very picturesque, and if you ever got too hot you could just dunk your head in the river. My friend had told me about the trip, but it turned out to be a group. So along with my friend and my brother, there were a few new faces. But it was good to meet new climbers, and everyone was very nice. One woman in particular was very impressive, she was 50 years old, and climbed a 5.9 like a champ. I only hope I’m in such good shape when I’m 50. We both got in about five climbs. Matt did a great job sport leading after a two year climbing hiatus, and I was able to scramble up a 5.11 on my second attempt (hardest thing I had climbed in awhile, so I was psyched). We then headed back to meet some friends out for margaritas and a little improvised roof party.

The next day we woke up a little late, and headed out to find breakfast. Not wanting to wait in a line, we passed up on a few spots, then decided to go to one of my favorite local spots “Tropicalia”- small Brazilian restaurant with incredible ceviche. It was lucky that we stumbled there, for we got to check out the second half of the US v. Brazil soccer futbol match. Sadly we lost, but I suppose it was pretty impressive to defeat Spain. Looks like I’ll actually be rooting for US along with Argentina next year for the World Cup. After that we caught a matinee for “The Hangover”, which was hilarious. It was pretty much like every other Apatow comedy clone out there these days, but it had enough ingenuity to keep it interesting. It was also very well done, and the entire cast was incredible. After that we headed up to Griffith park to do some slack-lining and hiking, then headed back to my place to catch the last few innings of the Yankees game (and Mariano’s 500th Save). Then met up with some friends for drinks and pie and the ‘House of Pies”. All in all a wonderful and eventful weekend. Life is good.

The last few years have really been great between my brother and I. I feel we are getting closer on a daily basis, and it’s been a great journey. Sure we still have our ups and downs. We’ll still fight, and banter, but compared to the old days it’s been so much better. My earliest memories of my brother and I were very good. When we traveled or went to dinner it was just us. We were best friends and playmates. I would defend him if he got picked on, and he would always look after me in return. Things changed in middle-school, we both developed our own social groups, and we spent less time playing with each other and more time playing with kids our age. As we began to head into the teenage years hormones tormented us like they do most people and we entered that awful and confusing time. Sometime in high school his inner demons got the best of him and he and got in trouble a good amount. I began to resent him; not so much for the person he was, but the stress and trauma he caused on the family. This lasted through the beginning of college for me, and slowly started fade my junior and senior years. And ever since we’ve been working on keeping in better touch, and being better friends, not just brothers. Sometimes I regret I wasn’t a better big brother at times. There were certain points I should have stuck up for him more. Been more supportive, offered more advice, offered to hear his side of the story instead of jumping on his back about it. But life is not like that, we can only learn from our mistakes, and plan our future accordingly. 

I remember it was Thanksgiving about four years ago. We were at my girlfriend’s house at the time, and everyone had already passed out from the post Thanksgiving itus. Matt and I were the last ones awake, talking and gazing at the blanket of New Mexican stars above us. It was the first time I was able to tell him I was proud of him, and I truly meant it. Today I’m still so proud of him. He’s come so far, and while he still has a a long way to go (as we all do), he’s so impressive with what he’s accomplished and how much he’s grown. When we were both home for my Grandfather’s memorial my brother and I walked in our woods. As we walked he was able to name nearly every single tree and shrub, and tell me their biology. He can spot hawks from the way they fly, and woodpeckers by the rhythm of their pecking. I always give him a hard time about going to a hippy school, but when I hear him talk about ecology, politics, green energy, and even philosophy, it’s so clear he’s learning so much. He has always had so much potential, and it’s so wonderful to see him finally use it. Sure I think he still smokes and drinks too much, I wish he didn’t talk back to my parents as much as he does, and I wish he was a bit more responsible at times. I can’t help but look out for him being a big brother, but none of those things detract from the amazing person he is. Ask him what type of rock that is in the distance and he’ll tell you off the top of his head, plus tell you what plants are growing on it. Ask any of his friends, and they’ll tell you what a loving, generous, and honorable person he is. Ask me, and I will tell you how proud I am to call him my brother.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marisa permalink
    July 1, 2009 8:02 am

    While running the risk of sounding trite, this made me cry. I am so happy to hear you and your brother have come so far. Happy and proud- of you both.

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