Brother Dearest This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Morris, IL
I don't remember how it started. It could have been our father’s death or earlier. I think you always felt empty, crippled by a past infringed with addiction. I never understood, you know? I had my own masochistic thoughts raging in my own masochistic head and I assumed that I was unique in that aspect.

You never grieved; that should have been a warning sign. We reacted in different ways, as I coped with rage and you, intoxication. The first time you came home, reeking of pungent smoke with empty eyes rimmed in red, I thought nothing of it. Amused at your stupidity and inability to hide your inebriation, I laughed. Ironic how the memory of a simple condescending chuckle can make you want to die...

Remember that day during the summer, when the skies raged and fought the most epic war we'd ever watched unfold? We sat, observing lightning separate the sky into pieces, the only light coming from the embers on the ends of our cigarettes and the plasma raping our vision. The depths of your voice caressed my ear, blending and harmonizing with the cacophony of roars outside. You could have said anything, and I would have deemed it Gospel. We talked for hours, well into the morning, as we watched the storm progress and pass. Words burned, deep inhales followed by foggy, profound statements laced with eloquence and cynicism. I could have lived the rest of my life in those hours, killing myself with you.

I think the drugs ruined me before you realized they destroyed you. Sitting at home, I heard police in our foyer. I curled in on myself, myriad sleeping pills rushing through my blood stream. No matter how often I experienced this same moment, I never got used to it: the lull and stop of time as I crushed up more medication to make the screams in my head quiet to a drone, so that I could maybe get some rest... By then, I recognized every policeman in our small hell.

I still reminisce about bonding over our love of the stars... Forced outside by our nicotine lust, we crouched on the porch, marveled by our love of the near obsidian sky, but now, this house can no longer be constituted as a home. Half a country away, I still feel you in the emptiness that echoes through the halls. I know you must beat this addiction, but what of my need for the comfort I find in the undertones of your voice and your angled, contemplative face? You... My brother, my mentor, my god. You're my everything. I miss you. I need you. Come home.





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