The boy looked like a clump of semi-articulated rhubarb. Though not especially tall, his stringy frame lent him that illusion. His stiff limbs betrayed neither evidence of elbow nor knowledge of knee, and gave the impression that he was always hugging himself. To his mind though, he was hugging the world. Like rhubarb, he didn't seem worth chewing on directly, and his face was always scrunched up as if he was attempting to battle the astringent taste of himself.
Though he had one already, he had always wanted a brother. A real, tough, principled, confident brother. The brother he had was also that: older, imperious, impertinent and devil-may-care... but never what Roob imagined. His brother was a master of karate, a particular skill-set that Roob had felt quite directly involved in his brother aquiring and perhaps explaining why Roob reflexively kept his limbs where he could count them.
"You're still such a boy." His brother sat on the corner of his bed looking around at Roob's room in mock-horror. A pair of drum-sticks walrused out from beneath his toque.
"You should take up a martial-art. That way you could pick up chicks. And then use them as weapons!"
"Hrrr!" said the bassist hovering in the doorway, leaning in for a high-five.
Roob glanced at him from his desk.
"What does that even mean? Use as a weapon?"
"Oh man. Roob. You're killing me here. I meant it as a play on words, don't be so reactive. Martial-arts! You know. You flow over your environment, when you feel danger, everything in the environment becomes dangerous, and every object a weapon."
"Doesn't have to be a physical weapon neither. It can be like, psycho-logical," growled the bassist.
"Object?" Asked Roob, still turned towards his desk.
"Why are you such a Roob? We're all ready to be used. We're all objects awaiting weaponization. If you don't fill your environment with your mind, someone else will fill it with theirs. And then you're at their mercy."
"Hrrr. Mercy Beaucoup. That's our new band name, dude!"
"But don't environments overlap? Let's go back to the 'picking up chicks' bit." Roob was well-practised at ignoring bassists.
"Let's go back to you being a prick. It's no small wonder you're still stuck in Mom's basement, playing with your self, rubbing the rhubarb. Wow, if ever there was a metaphor..."
"Hrrr. Metaforeskin. Hrrr."
"I said 'pick up chicks' cause that's what people think alpha-men do. Finding a girl's just an expression of confidence, you know? The whole 'weapon' thing is a joke, like in The Yakuza, where the guy says to Tanaka: 'I see you've picked up the sword again.'"
"I don't want to just find a girl. I want full planetary fusion. The unity of mind. I want someone to devote myself to. To be my advocate. An equal partner." Roob had finally swivelled his chair around to face his brother.
"Oh no. No you really don't little dude. Trust me. You won't respect each other that way. That's a romantic disguise for leprosy. A freakin myth. Only the one in the weaker position looks for equality. Looking for that is playing catch-up all the time. And if you both feel weak, hell forbid!"
"I didn't say I was looking for it, I said I wanted it."
"Yeah, yeah. But you gotta find a way to exceed each other to be together. You're just defaulting on your own problems if you devote yourself to someone else. Take Lily and me right now. We're together because we have a common love: the band."
"Do you love her though?"
"Well yeah, but she's not my everything. And nor would I want to be hers. Give up her... whatsit... her volition? To me? Creepy."
"Hrrr. Let alone boring. Who wants to hang out with someone you have to make decisions for?"
Roob passed a stalky hand over his pale, pinched face and sighed.
"Aren't you guys supposed to be rehearsing right now?"
"Hrrr. Yeah, but we thought we'd fuck with your Morosey ass for a bit first." Yet another high-five was exchanged.
"Roob, little dude, you gotta stop trying to create your world from scratch. Love is bigger than you. Come upstairs to the garage. Grab a Bud. Drink in some Ohio air. Lily's sister's coming over in a bit. She's pretty pretty. Cutely cute. She'll look like a slice of pie balanced on a briefcase full of money compared to this monkey-boy outfit you got going here. Maybe you and she could help us come up with some lyrics for our new tune."
The brother plucked the drumsticks out of his hat, rattled a quick tattoo on Roob's chair, and left. The bassist stayed a moment, pulling on his goat, then also left. And Roob turned back to his desk. Rumed over his 'weaponized environment' for a moment before sharpening his pencil. Flipping over the sheet of paper, he started to write afresh.
I was in love with you, and you were there too...