At the age of nine, my brother Denny whispered to me ,
“Ya know, Frankenstein lives in the attic.”
“He’s right behind the small door in your bedroom closet.”
"Nah-ah," I told him and besides, "The door is locked."
“Think Frankenstein cares about locked doors?" he smirked.
Throughout our childhood, my brother leaped out from
behind doors and around corners,
and somehow in scaring me, his fear diminished.
I wondered at times if he loved me, then I thought,
'If he didn't loved me, he wouldn't try to scare me to death.'
On it went, until, without warning, our beloved mother was dead.
Tightened into ourselves, alcohol soothed our grief.
With our mother's life over, our anger for our father grew, a deeply troubled and volatile war veteran, violently abusive of us all,
my brother and I knew our lives were over in some unspoken way.
Over the years, we developed an awkward, surface connection,
with less contact, it was just easier. Many years later, when our father died, we buried him. Still the distance between us grew, so many things left unsaid. Forty years of separate lives, both of us alcoholic, we learned to hide resentment and grief deep inside.
On an August day, ten years after our father's death, my brother surrendered his last breath. His liver worn out, unable to cleanse his blood. His suffering and his anger ended. With my brother gone, alone, I finally understood the meaning of family, and the absolute knowing we all did the best we could
From a Circle of One, I loved them with all my heart.