What I Remember
I remember places but not the roads taken to get there. I don’t recall driving to the village to see my brother’s body, but I do remember him lying underneath a sheet on a table in the morgue, and the plastic bag full of wet clothes my mother held in both hands, which pulled her shoulders into a slight hunch. And his green striped sweater. I can still remember the birthday I’d given it to him. We were sitting on a terrace at the botanical gardens when he asked if it was a sweater for posh people. He seemed to like this idea and rubbed his thighs, which he did whenever he was enthusiastic about something. His pants were always threadbare in that spot. He’d hung the sweater over the back of his chair, then forgotten to take it with him, so I had to bike back for it because he was going to cook for our friends and still had to swing by the supermarket. I don’t remember that bike ride either, but I do remember how my brother rode, always at his own tempo, which was so much faster than my own that I always exhausted myself trying to keep up with him. He biked as if he were alone, suddenly veering off into side streets without sticking out his hand to signal and weaving between the cars waiting at stoplights. I always followed him furiously, as if he were a fugitive and I was the police. Of course, I didn’t have to follow him. My brother never understood my anger. He always thought I should go my own way.