Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I wrote this post a while back. The intent was to include it as bonus material in the e-book, but I really needed to get it out because there's an amend that I need to make that I feel I will be encouraged to do now that this is public. This one is pretty important, folks.

First off, this post is out of place. I waited and waited for the appropriate time to write it but it never came. I’ve decided to do it now even though it can’t include all relevant information because I wanted there to be some new material for this e-book, and because it’s time. There was a traumatic, life-changing event that occurred in our lives when I was at a very impressionable age. It happened shortly after Dr. Wonderful exited stage left for the final time. It’s not my place to tell that story, so I won’t.

We were sitting at Chili’s, or maybe Flinger’s, at the Mall of America (As it turns out, it was at the Northtown Mall. I found out after I wrote this post and decided not to edit.) patiently waiting for a familiar face. I wondered if I would recognize him.  The year was roughly 2003, and I was going to meet my brother for the first time. It wasn’t a random event; this had been a work in progress of years. I had nothing to do with setting up the meeting; my mother had done all of the work as far as I remember. I wish I knew more of the specifics but I don’t so I won’t write about them.

What I do know is that when he walked through the door, there wasn’t any doubt; this guy was my brother. I mean, he looked exactly like me except he had blonde hair and blue eyes. He locked on our table immediately, and walked our way. I wasn’t nervous, but my blood was pumping a little faster than normal. I can’t imagine what must have been going through my mother’s mind at that very moment. I don’t recall her crying or making a scene, so she must not have. I bet it was tough seeing a child you had given birth to, then let go. Never knowing where he had gone, if he was safe, if he was loved. I think any tears would have been of happiness that day once it was clear that he had turned out ok.

We greeted each other with a handshake and we sat down at the table. I was in the middle of a substantial period of sobriety so there was no drinking, in fact, I don’t remember eating or drinking at all. I don’t recall any of the conversation, how long we sat together, or any other pertinent information from that evening.

What sticks in my mind after all of these years is what happened after that meeting. Thomas and I began a routine of conversation as we had a lot to learn about each other. Back then, people communicated with their voices over “telephones” and asked and answered questions to learn things. Facebook takes all of that away now, but it used to be all the rage. We met on occasion, and even maintained contact when I moved to Rochester. I would visit him at his home some 45 minutes north of the cities when I came up for holidays and whatnot, and we would exchange e-mails and phone calls on occasion. It was really cool to have a brother after over two decades of being an only child. And it seemed to mean as much to him as it did to me. We had so much in common, with completely different paths travelled. He had had his troubles with alcohol, and we talked extensively about my troubled past, and it seemed to grasp him. He understood everything I had gone through, and just…… We really connected.

Years passed, and he met the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his children. I met the woman who would eventually tell me that she thought I could handle a drink or two with dinner, and that was all I needed to hear. I knew I could handle the first drink or two; it was always the consequent 17-40 that really got to me. When I started hitting the meth pipe, I quickly found financial trouble, and my brother was speedy to help. Now, $200 may not sound like a lot of money to a lot of people, but for me it was the difference between safety and a severe beating by a Mexican drug dealer, and for him it was probably all he had at the time. That was just the beginning of my woes, but it was the end of everything that we had built. I wouldn’t respond to calls, texts, or e-mails from his wife; I just bailed. That was over a decade ago.

 My brother and I the first time we had ever seen each other.

When I talk about making amends, this is as high up on the list as it gets. It’s the damage I’m most afraid to repair because the whole thing makes me feel like a piece of shit, and I don’t like accessing that particular part of my life which means I need to do it as quickly as possible. I’m already willing to make the amend, I just need to act, and sometimes action takes courage. Grow up, Vince. It’s time to move on.

 So there it is in black and white. And for some reason, orange. I hope that doesn't transfer over to the actual published post. If it doesn't, you won't have a clue what this is in reference to. Back on track, I'm happy that I decided to move forward with this chapter. I hope you enjoyed this: one of the few remaining pieces of me yet unknown.


Anonymous said...

As always, I am impressed with the courage and honesty of your writing my friend. I'm sure your brother would be very glad to hear how well you're doing... and be proud of you as a brother as I am.

Vinnie Maertz said...

Thanks, mystery person!


1,826 days ago my life began again. Five years ago I walked into a courtroom knowing I would be locked away for fifty months, and I stood...