Later this year, Mike will have one of those big round-number birthdays. Given that, he was looking rather good, I thought, and I told him as much. I think that might have been more of a surprise, for him, than anything else that transpired. It wasn't the sort of thing I would say to him when I was still living as Nick. I guess it's not the sort of thing male siblings normally say to each other.
Now I realize that I may never have complimented him on anything until today. Actually, I'm pretty sure that I never complimented him. I mean, what kind of an older brother would I have been if I did? ;-) As if I were ever a model of siblinghood! (Does such a thing exist?)
Over lunch, I sat across from Mike, with Mom and Dad at our sides. My conversation with Mike was, at first, almost an interview: He asked about my work, when my summer class was ending, and when the new semester starts. Then we talked about my upcoming trip, his plans and about my nephew. I was glad, really, that the conversation went the way it did: I felt, in a way, reassured because it's the sort of conversation we might have had even if I hadn't undergone my transition. It was more or less what I could have expected under any set of circumstances that included not seeing him for about fifteen years.
As we parted, I said, "Let's not let another fifteen years pass."
"Don't worry. We won't. I'll probably be coming this way more often now that Matt is grown."
I hope he's right. Even though we weren't close--in part because of our difference in age and in part because of our differences in temperament and interests--I don't feel like I want to "make up for lost time." Really, it's not possible to do that. I would simply like to get to know him.