The Biz Thing

I had a cataclysmic fight with my younger sister 15 months ago and people are still asking me about it. And since I’ve fearlessly written about everything else here, and since my choice of topics always leans towards things I’m tired I talking about one-on-one I should just put this out there.

Trying to start chronologically is hard because I met my younger sister before our parents got together and she was just another child on the scene, to be honest I have no clues about the first time Biz and I met. I remember that when I had outgrown my lego collection she felt like the right person to pass it on to. I think she was 5 and I was 12. When our parents shacked up she was 7 and I was 14.

I remember she had a pokemon poster on her door and I said “Pokemon, really?” and the next day it was gone. I realized that I held sway over someone for the first time in my life and I had to be careful, with great power comes great responsibility.

Unfortunately my teenage idea of responsibility meant introducing her to marijuana and the beatles.

And that kicked off the era of biz and I doing everything together. Every video game, album, movie, and TV show was our shared thing. She started playing guitar because I played guitar.

This kicked off the era of me thinking I was infallibly cool.

You see I had just turned 18 and was hitting my stride with our dear friend alcohol. So I would come home at 4 in the morning with some billboard I had just stolen and Biz was my audience so I couldn’t wait to wake her up and show her. And it’s a horrible mix of how much I loved her and how much I loved myself that I wanted to share these things with her.

The first time I did cocaine I came home and woke her up. Just to tell her that I did cocaine. And that we should go for breakfast. On her. Because I had no money. I was 20 so she must have been 13.

You throw that all in with the fact that she was around to see me get kicked out of multiple schools and go through a number of suicide attempts it shouldn’t be a surprise that when she entered her adult life she wanted to distance herself from me just a little bit.

But I thought when I started playing in bands and started writing songs and really found myself she would turn that corner with me. After my decade plus of being a loser I was finally becoming the person I’d always wanted to be. And once again Biz was the only person I wanted to share it with. I thought I’d finally become someone she could be proud to call her brother.

And she came out to a few shows but she was also going through a profound change in her life because she had just come out as a lesbian.

This was the era where I made a horrific impression on her new friends and girlfriends. I always felt like they were judging me for being some straight white square loser that I acted exactly like a straight white square loser. Such an odd trait I’ve seen in my life and a lot of my friends – when we feel unjustly accused of something we act defiant by becoming exactly that. How stupid.

The dawn of me being mad at Biz was that I’d invite her to shows and she’d say yes just to let me know afterwards that oops she couldn’t make it. She blew off my first CD release party so I didn’t invite her to my second. She texted me anyway to let me know that oops she couldn’t make it. I saw that the kid who once looked up to me now placated and tolerated me. So naturally I once again acted like exactly like the useless drunken loser I felt accused of being.

My whole family came out to the Ship & Anchor when I placed in the top ten of a song writing contest and Biz was actually buying me drinks when she grinningly apologized for not coming to my party and I blew up at her. Of course in front of her friends.

After a cooling off period there was a series of emails that got to the heart of Biz and I’s history and it was extremely cathartic but it was just putting into words what we both knew and that I was when I finally realized that there was no future, there was no moving forward and there was no repair to be done. I had spent a lot of time and grown frustrated trying to fix something that didn’t exist. In the story of my life I wanted her to be a main character but in her story I’m just part of the prologue. You can’t change other people and you can’t blame them for treating you like the character you’ve been playing.


Singer/songwriter, jerk.

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