I think I may just be the “faller”in my family. You know, the person who stumbles a little and strays off the metaphorical “Happy Family” path because we can, because we want more, or maybe because we can’t stand fitting into the dysfunctional functioning mould of the life our parents tried to shape for us.
Sometimes I feel like the faller.
I hate listening to my older sister. She thinks it’s because I don’t respect her opinion, I think it’s because I’m tired of living the life she wants me to live and not the life I want. I think we might both be wrong, I hate listening to my older sister because deep down inside I know she’ll never be the screw up. How can you screw up when you have an entire life’s résumé of doing the right thing to back you up?
It’s very, very hard to.
I don’t resent her in anyway. We used to be a lot closer than we are now and I guess that’s the fault of absence and distance. I don’t hate the fact that she’s more successful than me and more driven. We wouldn’t be Gemma and Harriet if that were the case, I think sometimes I just hate the fact that she sees this whole entire life for me that I’ve lost track of along the way, a life I don’t want right now, a life I may never want.
I’m always going to date the wrong people, I’m always going to be sceptical about that Jesus dude, I hate feeling pressurised to do something, I see absolutely nothing wrong with people who smoke, get stoned or swear, my favourite music often refers to women as “bitches” and because I’m the faller this makes me feel so much like “The Only Living Boy in New York”.
But I am so tired of fighting. Somewhere along the way time got warped and my rebellious streak started to react against my sister and not my mother, everything I do, I do to wind her up, make her worried about me, frustrate her to no end. In terms of our Sister Act: the Bentley Girls, Order and Chaos, Ginger and Nutmeg, Serious and Frivolous, I’ve become the faller. I think I might just be my fearless older sister’s biggest tormentor because I know exactly what to do to screw up.
I’m not proud of that last bit, the part about tormenting the person I should stick with for the rest of my life. I’d probably have given me a good old fashioned swirly by now if I was her. But I don’t think I ever want to stop being the screw up. I love being the faller, I want to date all kinds of wrong people, I want to spend my life experiencing the universe just as it is without the restrictions of religion or the imminent threat of Hell looming over my head, I find the island of misfit toys I call friends incredibly satisfying and fascinating and I know I write far too much on the internet for the more gruesome parts of my life to remain a secret.
But I kind of also don’t want my other half to change. Order has to remain Orderly because she is my anchor. I don’t listen to her at all, I don’t particularly want to, but she needs to stick around; we need to stick around, because without her I’m just a wild piece of hurricane with no direction, no purpose, nothing to make me stop. My sister makes me more than a destructive gust of wind, she makes me whole and human and incredibly, wonderfully screwed up and special.
I like to think I do the same for her.