I was with my brother, in a dark movie theater… it was to be a young actor’s debut role in a feature film. All he got was the opening credits; and he barely got that. But my brother and I didn’t know about that actor’s missed starring role on the big screen. We were just happy to be at the movies—we always liked going to see movies. I’m not really sure what drew us to this particular one. After the opening credits, there is a memorial scene. One of the friends in attendance says a brief eulogy… and then he mentions that they will now play a song that was very near and dear to the deceased. I lean over to my brother and whisper, “The Rolling Stones; You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” And the song’s opening choir begins singing… (that’s how i remember it)

Years later, I am production manager for a low-budget (very relative, isn’t it?), independent film shooting in Marin County and San Francisco. We shoot on weekends to save money. I pick up the needed equipment late Friday afternoon and bring it back Monday morning; we’re charged for a one-day rental. This particular weekend is a big deal. It is a pivotal scene in the story; a close friend of the protagonist is shot and killed in a business deal gone sour. The scene is being shot at a beautiful home in Tiburon and a professional pyrotechnics technician has been hired. We have a lot of equipment rented; the DP wanting the beauty of the scene (the majestic Golden Gate Bridge is seen in the background) to show up—while also capturing the dramatics. I arrive at our “base camp” with the equipment. I’m not sure why, but my brother is with me, hanging out… visiting. I arrive… and there is a message waiting for me from the pyro-tech. He’s not doing the shoot because we don’t have city permits and approvals in place. What?! First of all, we’re shooting at a friend’s house. Second of all… I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing… !!?? Who said ANYTHING about permits?! No one; that’s who. I look up at my brother and say, “Watch this.” Forty-five minutes later, I call the pyro-tech guy back up and let him know the permits are in place—the shoot is on. Turn’s out the owner of the home was also friends with Tiburon’s mayor at the time—who hooked me up with the Fire Chief… who I called on a Friday night at his home… and we got our permits and permissions and the scene was shot that weekend… (that’s how i remember it)

Now, all this time, I’ve believed that these stories were examples of the universe giving me opportunity to show my younger brother how great and powerful his older brother (me) is. I realize that my brother’s presence was the necessary ingredient for both stories to be.

Is all of this true? I don’t really know… I do know that I am eternally grateful for my brother. He is not my older, nor my younger brother. He is my brother—and I love him and am eternally grateful he is a part of my life.

I’m also quite happy that I got this scheduled for a Monday. 🙂