Thursday, June 23, 2022


It's always a magic time. When my little brother comes over for a visit, we finish doing all the things that we set out to do according to the invitation or the occasion. Then we talk.

We talk for hours, sometimes, depending on whether or not it's a school night for one of us. We talk about news and movies and politics and the past and the future. We talk about ourselves and each other. We talk about family. We talk about friends. We talk about art. We talk about writing. 

After all these years, we have not run out of things to talk about. This is the happy gift. This is the guy with whom I grew up. We shared breakfast time. We shared dinner time. We argued about whose turn it was to feed the dog. We conspired with one another to keep our lack of piano practice a secret from my mother. Late at night, in the loft of the cabin where we spent the summers waiting in our sleeping bags for slumber to come. Sometimes talking to each other. Sometimes reading comic books. Sometimes listening to AM radio on our proto-earbuds. 

What we have in common is everything. What we continue to discuss is everything. All these years later, you might imagine that we could just agree that we've got a pretty good understanding of one another and move on to something new. 

But no: There is still a fascination that seems to grip us both. A fascination with familiarity. A comfort that I do not share with anyone else on the planet. The friction that occurs in so many other interactions over the course of a day, week, year does not come up in my conversations with my little brother. Maybe that's because of the way I oppressed him for all those years, keeping him down as only older brothers can do. I don't imagine this is true, unless he is more forgiving than I could ever imagine. Instead, I think we have rediscovered our kinship as adults in ways that we may have missed all those years ago. 

It's a treat for me, and I assume it is for him as well. I gauge this mutual satisfaction by the amount of laughter that accompanies our back and forth. Having access to that much of a person's history is a rare and wonderful thing, and as we round the turn into our sixties, we aren't taking it for granted. We were clever enough not to go into business together, and the trip across the bridge is enough distance to keep from getting into each other's kitchens too often. 

When my little brother and I get together, I feel seen. I hope he feels the same way. I'm pretty sure he does too. But that's something we can talk about then next time. 

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