My eldest brother has been up in the Falls and has found his seat on the mushed grass of that island. We wanted him to go on with it and do his “braining” away from us. He was told his disorder would never leave him any comfort; he could expect to fiddle and twitch and go along missing our mother.  We still do not hear—even these days—about who the possessed was, who the possessed is. How could she ever be strangled on the farm that she gave her life and body to for those years?

Tom cannot hold a pen, barely his cigarette. He’s asked a vagrant to write for him. Funny, I guess. The scrawl lets me know he is okay. He says he remembers a man in Maine with a lighthouse view and good soup. He will go there and become his lodger until he finds the right kind of perfect day to die. I know I can’t go and see him now. Maybe for Thanksgiving Martha will force our children into the van and we can ride on up there. If he weren’t so scared of his phone, I’d give him that call.

Sometimes when I wash clothes and look deep down into the suds, I miss my big brother. He bathed me after father left us for liquor and cocaine waitresses. We have witnessed basketball games together; have preserved all the autographs. Shared Chicago’s finest pizza and fought over best beers. Have kissed.

Our family van has no air conditioning. The children’s faces drip in sweat most days. Their mother flushes with irritation and then whitens into all of her pain. Tells me to get the thing fixed somehow, and real soon.

It should be cool by late November, though.







Photo by Raging Wire