The air surrounding us remains stagnant in the crepuscule of a June night, in a place that only exists when my brother is home. Time seems to stop, the single light embedded in the ceiling has been out for almost a year now. As I take my seat closest to the door I make a note that someone should change that lightbulb but I know that it will never get done. We are absorbed into the conversation, surrounded by the white chipping paint on the walls and the smell of the summer. He tells me how there is a hole in Antarctica that the government doesn’t want us to know about that has a direct correlation to aliens and I tell him that I am worried I might be slipping again. The June heat subsides with the cool breeze of the approaching dawn. Leaves rustle and wind whistles through the screen windows of our back porch while we sit and talk and in the dark I knock over the single citronella candle which is used as an ashtray before us. We remain in the dark and this time I clean it up.
But things are different now; the candle on the table has a thin layer of dust over it. The chairs remain pushed in under the old wood table and as I sit down in the chair closest to the door I make note that the light is out again. I can’t remember who changed the lightbulb last time but I know that it wasn’t me. I remove some of the boxes from their respective place on top of the table and I sit by myself for a moment, the fall air nipping at my neck where the lining of my coat doesn’t reach. It is silent; the paint is still chipping. My brother hasn’t been around for some time now and I am not used to sitting in silence. We were always talking here. This is where we came to talk and to think and to breathe and since he’s not here I take my time to notice.