Home » Archive » My Brother’s Handwriting » Page 6

My Brother’s Handwriting

Page 6

Peter Farrar

My mother shook her head. For a second I thought she’d break down but she breathed it back in.

“I don’t want to think about it,” she said. I stood sluggishly. “You know,” she added. “I was watching Jo today. I don’t believe what you said about her. You shouldn’t have left her you know. Have you found someone else?” I shook my head.  “Help yourself to lasagne,” she added.

I drove the empty streets back to my flat. Passed the park where my brother and I used to play kick to kick. His long curving torpedo punts often zoomed over my head, sometimes clipping my outstretched fingers. Went by the cafe we often met in. We usually sat outside. We drank thick, sweet Turkish coffees and grindings leached from between my teeth for hours. I bumped over the railway tracks that carried us to football matches and home from pub crawls. As I saw where we’d walked I looked for the life Luke and I might’ve had. We probably would’ve called into that French restaurant that always hung out a flag on Bastille Day. Visited the florist set up in a closed service station and taken bunches of jonquils home. Sat in that beer garden complaining about our working week. 

Before Luke died we’d sat outside that Turkish cafe, unhappy about summer ending. Sipped coffee in small cups, burning mouths and swallowing a sludge of sugar. Said to my brother it was a miracle we remained friends, considering our brawls and injuries to each other when young. That was the last time I saw him smile. I especially remembered his hug afterwards, tight then loosening, the dip of his chin embedded in my shoulder, his smile so alive before fading.     

For those fleeting moments as I drove he was on every corner. I said his name as loudly as I could into wind blustering past the car window until it brought him back, full of life and watching me drive by.         

This edition