My Brother Died & Yet He’s Everywhere
He slipped a Marlboro in his mouth and blew out a big white puff that circled around us like a cloud. It was just one of those nights when there was no wind but it was so cold you’d hug your knees while sitting on the pavement. Our hideout.
Our not-so-secret, secret place.
It was midnight, and we were outside the house and sitting on the curb of the road. One of my favorite things to do. Our house was in the suburbs, laid between large houses with big lawns. The ones that are loved and taken care of. Except for ours, with overgrown shrubs, weeds, and cigarette buds in the driveway.
The black sheep of the neighborhood.
The perennial mutts. Half White, half Latinos. The messed-up family.
“When we grow up, I want us to live in two houses next to each other, with white picket fences separating us. Have our kids grow up together and watch stupid movies, be crazy, and all that good shit. Yeah, it’s gonna be a great life Cindy, just wait, I promise.”
I was 16 when my older brother said these words to me…