"Stop asking stupid questions." "How's "ÃÂwhere are we going?' a stupid question. When you asked me to come along on this stupid expedition with you I figured I could trust your intentions but I'm beginning to see that assumption really does make an ass of somebody." "Look kid, if you can't trust me who can you trust. Now shut up we're almost there." "Yeah. Easier said than done. What are we looking for anyway?" "What is it about shut up you don't understand?" "The up." It was mumbled under his breath in the exact way that he knew it would irritate his brother the most and Bill could only feel some sense of victory, in this argument at least. Victories came far and few between for Bill when it came to his brother and fortunately or otherwise when it came to much else. It is the curse of the sheep that he should experience most of the troughs of his shepherd but is faded quickly out of the limelight when the rare peak arises.
But it was Bill. It was the nature of him. He rarely stood up for himself and endured punishment like a masochist. Always had an excuse handy, and quietly blamed himself for all when he was alone. Hated depression but felt uncomfortable with any other feeling. It was in his very nature to take pain in much the same ways he took love, straight to the heart.
What Jim failed to recognize, as he often did, was that the truths he so gallantly sought were not entirely those of his little brother. In Jim's life things were somewhat content, like a moored boat the occasional rocking was simply part of the sensation of life, nothing more. However, he was not quite ready to be released to sea. Jim's mind needed answers and he was willing to seek them out at all costs, and as companionship was a necessity in this quest, as well as in his life, who better to accompany him through this than his younger brother. He made himself believe that somehow these experiences would make a man out of his brother, but were probably more for the purpose of making a man of himself. He believed he was trying to instill in Bill the strength that he was sure to need if his life was to end up less fruitless than Jim believed his had been so far. Strength that Jim could of course borrow occasionally when the need arose. What he did not realize however was that the truth that they were both sure to stumble on could have exactly the opposite effect. One so terrible that it depresses the very depths of ones mind even to think of it.
Bill's life was always hazy, not at all dark just hazy enough so he couldn't quite make out where he was going but always had a keen sense of where he was. Thus I guess is the trap of any man, boy, girl or woman that ponders on the present too much and gives little heart to the past or any hope to the future. But there lay the paradox. Although Bill's life seemed always stagnant it always seemed as if it was slowly moving toward some goal. Not goal by definition, that which would imply that he made, makes or has at least tried to set some kind of objective that he could cruise steadily toward. No concerted effort had been made on his part in this regard, none whatsoever, the haze was somewhat guided by some force out there. Enough to make a man believe that there are truly those that are gifted and those that simply are not. That there are those who no matter how hard they try to remove themselves from the straight and narrow are barricaded whilst the others who, try as they will, to get on are kept off. It hardly occurred to him that he was so gifted. In fact it did not occur to him at all. He would look back on each stage of his life as if he believed that there was something to regret. His thoughts always lingered on what goals he had missed and never what great things he had managed to accomplish.
Jim managed to get into just enough trouble to be a constant worry to his mother but stay out of just enough as not to be written off entirely as a bad apple. Inferiority was his niche, though much the same word could be used to describe his brother, though somehow, they certainly exemplified the characteristic in as different a way as could be thought possible. As long as he believed himself to be inferior to everybody else he would be forced to act in such a way as would possibly please them. He made a precise effort to get inside the heads of each and every person he met so he could figure them out, play to their whims and become their friends, where he could easily have done the opposite. Not that that was the intention, becoming friends was a challenge more than anything else. Getting into peoples minds and figuring them out also seemed an attempt to finally figure himself out somehow. To recreate his own mind from the best of the best as if there was such a thing. One thing he knew for sure was that everybody had a weakness and he had them all. And that weakness was his only strength. It did lead to a lonely life. For once the puzzled mind of one was discovered the friendship was quickly discarded. Almost by instinct