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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Lending An Ear

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Monday November 26th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I got a call from my cousin Brett today, and he’s at his lowest point. I was sorry to hear of what he was going through, but of anyone on the planet he could have called who could relate to every word of what he was saying it was me. I listened intently as he unloaded what was troubling him.

   The details aren’t important, other than it’s the same old life misery most of us go through on a daily basis. Job issues, relationship issues, dealing with idiots on a constant basis and the like are obstacles we must fight to overcome. For dented cans it’s worse, and Brett is definitely one of us.

   That doesn’t mean I don’t think the world of him, as I absolutely do. He’s seven years younger than me, and sharp as a brand new razor. We have a whole lot in common – much more than my actual blood brother. I consider Brett to be my little brother, even though he stands about 6’4”.

   He is left handed like me, and also a borderline Pisces as his birthday is February 21st. I’m still not sure if there’s anything to astrology, but my guess is there’s something there. It’s energy, and everything alive is energy. That would lead me to believe astrology measures a form of energy.

   Whatever the case, we’re both on the same wavelength about a lot of things from family to the things we find funny. Brett is hilarious, and has a wonderfully dark twisted sense of humor I can always count on to make me laugh deep and hard no matter how down I’m feeling. That’s a gift.

   Another thing Brett has is one of the most giving hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. I try to be one to always share anything I have with anyone who needs it, but he makes me look like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Even as a very small child, that heart was there and his sister used to use it against him and make his life hell. I felt badly for him, but he couldn’t help it. That’s who he is.

   Brett told me what he was going through, and I found it remarkable that he said it drained all of of his hope and he felt a distinct snap inside. That’s the exact feeling I had in Springfield as I was told how much my car would cost to get fixed. We hit bottom at the same time, and I wonder if it was more than a coincidence? It seems odd it would occur like that on the very same weekend.

   We’ve helped each other out many times, and this will be no different. I didn’t elaborate on my latest speed bump, as I wanted to let him vent about what was bothering him. He’s a great helper to many, and he deserves the floor when he needs to vent. He’s a younger brother as am I, and to have someone listen is a luxury. Too often everyone looks at us as perpetual pickers of dog poop.

   My heart really goes out to Brett, and I wish I could do more to help him deal with this. He’s a Union Carpenter by trade, and a very good one. He’s invested his life learning and respecting his craft as I have done with comedy, but all of these years into it he doesn’t have security as I don’t.

   Why quality people keep getting thrown into the meat grinder and imbeciles skate through life seemingly unscathed continues to mystify me to no end. There must be a reason for it, as it does happen frequently enough to be noticeable. So much more good could be done if life were fair.

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