Buckaroo Banzai


If my oldest brother, Keith, was a buckaroo, my next oldest is a buckaroo banzai. For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, Buckaroo Banzai was a scientist, rock n’ roll singer, who investigated the farthest reaches of the unknown. He was probably a bunch of other things too (wasn’t he a race car driver as well?). It was a crazy, zany, over the top, comedy which was hard to categorize, there were so many different elements. That describes David as well. It is hard for me to write about David, because I have to decide which ones to focus on. David is committed to exploring the farthest reaches of his own mind. I can assure you that there is no mind quite like his. Just when you think David is engaged in a deep philosophical insight, he will inevitably throw you a curve, sending the conversation into a tailspin. Sometimes it’s comic, other times irritating, but always unexpected. His quicksilver mind cannot be contained by logic, belief systems of any kind, it has to be free to be what it is, in any given moment. This is his Art, and his Magic. And he’s my fucking brother! He was very much a role model, to the extent that I could figure out what the hell I was emulating. I guess I learned to keep moving, never allow myself to stop questioning, stop growing, right to my dying breath. While Keith could certainly generate a few storms, he seemed anchored in the ancestral soil as he raged. David is the storm itself, magnetic, compelling, dangerous, but a gift to a far too complacent world.

Ok, ok that’s all fine and good, but is this guy a human being or what? I mean all that stuff I wrote is so conceptual and philosophical that I just know I’ve lost quite a few of you out there in cyberspace. (or perhaps it is poetic? usually the excuse given for crappy writing.) So let’s get down to Earth, shall we? I love David in a way I don’t love any other person. Because I have to. You can’t love that guy in the normal way, it just doesn’t work! He is my muse, in many ways. There have many times when I have been out there. and I mean out there without landmarks or buoys to guide me to the shore. (Skip the metaphor, what are we trying to say?) Well, when I am trying to articulate thoughts about something that perhaps hasn’t been thought before, I think to myself, ‘what would David say?’ But every time I actually get the opportunity to talk to him about it, he always says something totally different. If I were a cynic, I would say that he senses where I’m going on a subject and deliberately does the unexpected, sinking my battleship every time! (I do love those metaphors, don’t I?). But this was supposed to be down to Earth. As I was growing up, I wanted so much to be a part of the midnight discussions about all things hidden, conducted by Keith and David. It was thrilling when I did get the chance to listen to them talk. At the time, it felt like such a perfect harmony, Keith and David making music together. Although I have had great talks with Keith and David both which lasted for hours, they could not compare to that team. David embraced life with joy, for most of the time I knew him, before I left for parts unknown. He had such an infectious enthusiasm for whatever he was engaged in. When he was being a cowboy, you wanted to be one as well. When he sang and played guitar, it was exciting, because he was excited. Lawrence and David were an intriguing combination of cool and hot. But I’ll tell ya, Lawrence was David’s biggest fan. I was a fan too, but also jealous. I wanted to do better. I didn’t like David stealing the limelight. I would think, “I’m just as good as him. He thinks he’s so great!” He did seem vain, at times, but that just hid a deep vulnerability. This often gave David a prickly personality, not unlike my own. So, inevitably when you get two vulnerable, insecure brothers together you get conflict. We have often been at odds with each other. There were a few actual fights. I would be my usual pain in the ass, and David would just kick my ass, or at least he tried, I left a few scars myself. It was crazy, neither of us could just let it go. One of us would shoot off his mouth and the other just had to shoot his mouth off in response. There are so many similarities between us. The extent to which we dislike ourselves, is the extent to which we disliked each other. We were like mirrors. I notice I keep saying ‘were’, I still have long conversations with David. I have reached a point where I appreciate David more than ever. I have left almost all of my legendary sensitivity behind, so he can just be himself. (and vice versa). There was a long period of time when I couldn’t even think about David without getting pissed off. David saw so much in me, left unfulfilled, and it made him mad. David was not shy about expressing his anger. I think I better understand what that was about. I just thought he didn’t like me.

David and I are also alike in that we both have dreamed big dreams, and we had to settle for reality. He wanted to be a singer and musician and recorded some songs at one point, sending them to a record company. I thought the tape was awesome, especially the guitar. But nothing came of it. I had thoughts of being a writer, actor, comedian, nothing came of any of it. I never followed through. David was a police officer and a minister, but in both cases the job was too small to contain such a vibrant personality. He is more than that, He is always more than that. It is exactly the way I view myself, and just like him, it hasn’t done me a damn bit of good. We are both brilliant and broke, or nearly broke. I shouldn’t say that, I doubt that he is nearly broke, but it’s a good sentence so I’ll let it stand. From my perspective, it is totally amazing that he and Ina managed to raise six kids, never got a divorce, managed to stick it out through some downright horrible conditions, and still end up with six wonderful kids! (it is six isn’t it? lets see mark monica mike bucky marjorie, that’s only five! if there is a sixth I can’t recall the name, my apologies.)  No. it’s five.  So, enough already about that. I just hope that in all those moves they made, when the kids were young, they didn’t leave some kid behind! Hey, it could happen! (No! dummy, it is six! I left out Shelly!! Sorry Shelly, Alzheimer’s is a sad thing!) As you can tell, I have run out of things to say about my brother David. Never boring. Almost always frustrating. But a brother like no other!

4 responses »

  1. I thought their 6th child was little Carlos. If I remember right we was a sprightly Mexican boy with jet black hair and a protruding gold tooth. As a matter of fact I do recall little Carlos performing as a backup singer and go-go dancer for Deon and Don. Yes that would be the 6th child.

  2. Ok. Jade, that is just wrong on so many levels!! It insults Mexicans, midgets, dentists, and I don’t know what else. Their sixth child was Rick Santorum, but I know damn well they will never admit it!

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