It feels like a lifetime since I last saw you. Or heard from you. Or spoke to you. Yet at the same time, you are everywhere and in everything that I do. An invisible man who blots the thoughts, feelings and experiences on the canvas of my life. Yet our lives were never the same when our world came crashing down upon us. A shard of pain fell between us, that over time, become a wall that I kept climbing to try and see you.
My brother, I wonder what you look like now. Have you still got hair or have you cut it all off? What are your dreams and where do you want to go? How does your voice sound and what is your laugh like? Is it a loud belly laugh like mine or soft and polite? Has your handwriting matured, or is it the same boyish scrawl? I think about this every single day, with a firm resolution to continue climbing the wall. But it feels like that wall just keeps getting higher and higher.
There are days when I hate you so much that it fills every vein and cell in my body with poison. Days where I feel like burning our childhood photos. Watch the flames lick away at our innocent smiling faces and matching shell suits. Burning a hole through my soul. But the fire quickly gives way to puddles of inky sadness that I turn into letters addressed to you that I never sent and paintings that I lock away.
Dear Brother, I feel like over the years that we’ve lost each other. That we’ve slowly become two strangers with the same blood running through our veins. On my commutes into Central, I look out of the window wondering if you do a similar commute into another part of London. Could you one day be on the same Tube carriage as me? Would you say hello to me? Or roughly push past like every other commuter as I become another fleshy face in an urbanised smudge.
I look around but I can’t find you. If only I could see your face then I’d tell you that what happened wasn’t our fault. It shouldn’t have separated us, it should have brought us closer. But it didn’t. Maybe I’ll have the strength to send you one of the unsent letters in the hope that you’d read it and somehow you’d feel my pain behind the words.
Dear Brother, I don’t know if I will ever see you again or what will happen as we head off onto our separate paths. But even after all this time, you have never left my heart. And you never will.