I’m writing this on a map of a graveyard, sitting at the grave of my ex-stepbrother. It’s still empty.
He had juvenile diabetes. He was only four years older than me.
I don’t know what to say to my ex-stepdad.
I don’t know what to think. I don’t know how to feel.
I don’t know if writing counts as feeling or thinking. I don’t think it does.
I’m so tired. So tired. It feels as though I haven’t slept in weeks, and even if I had I don’t know that my brain would feel any less dull and heavy and my eyes and fingers any less frozen and stupid.
He and I used to have battles across the upstairs hall- music volume, how long I took in the shower, random stuff left on the upstairs rail only to fall on the person coming up.
He teased me about my bathroom time, I made fun of his eternal baseball caps. We acted like siblings, except without the major fights- or the closeness.
Odd. He wasn’t a friend, a roommate, a sibling. Family can be such a convoluted thing.
We shared space. And parents.
And now he isn’t here. Just- isn’t.
If I could feel anything but cold right now, it would probably be fear. And regret.
Regret that I didn’t know him better, keep in touch, take the chance I had handed to me to have another brother. I didn’t; he didn’t. And now neither of us ever will.
Never isn’t a word that belongs in the mouths of human beings. Only stars and galaxies exist on that scale. It’s too big for me.
But it’s still true that I’ll never see him again.
There are trucks full of dirt being driven up now. They’re big and yellow and industrial and- normal.
I hate them.
I hate the sound of the first dirt hitting a coffin- a dull thudding that gets swallowed in the depths of the grave.
But it still echoes.
It’s the end. The very, very end. And somebody should get blisters gripping the shovel that makes that sound, instead of the hish of hydraulics preceding it.
I’m tired. I’m so tired.
My fingers are getting numb; I can’t write much more. I don’t want to. What I want is to sleep, but it scares me to think about it.
He died while in a coma. Just- left, without a word.
I can’t think of it that way, or I won’t sleep again for a long time.
I have to put this away. I see the hearse at the top of the hill.