My brother’s suicide was the cataclysmic event that put me on the path to finally remembering everything. His name was Frankie.
He was older by a couple of years, and we were best friends (until we weren’t). We rode bikes. Fished. Skinny dipped. Stole shit. Dump picked. Explored the burnt-down drug store. Firecracked. Played with cow bones, smoked pipes filled with cherry tobacco, and sat down in burning chairs. Threw snowballs at cars. Bumper surfed. Blackened that baseball field with lighters on our hands and knees.
Skunk cabbage. Stone walls meandering. A very large snapping turtle. The abandoned chicken coop.
Could those human bones we dug up that time have been cursed? Could I have been cursed? Could we have been cursed? We put them back, but maybe that didn’t help. I did everything I could to avoid digging up the bones of my assault. I was the buried child. I was a forgotten sun. I was always comfortable living under ground.
Any time we feel regret is too late.
How many male survivors does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. We’re content to stay in the dark.
This was first published in CLOVES Literary.