The last drink he bought me was a pint of Guinness.
At that point I was past pints –
He didn’t read those signals –
I was into small ones by that stage of the evening-
But we were brothers who didn’t know each other –
And he was good to buy me that pint.
Instead of just saying thank you –
I embarked on a lecture on the progression of drink in an evening for a Cleary male. No going back to pints after the transition.
Sitting outside, him still smoking five years since I’d quit, we couldn’t connect. But we were calmer than we’d been in a long time.
Many regrets, he’d tried to reach out and I should have just shut up and drank the pint. I did but I didn’t enjoy it.
A few days later I had to identify his body in a morgue in Gorey, County Wicklow.
Sometimes we rush to end things we don’t like, at the expense of missing things that we later realize will be incredibly valuable, in the future, for the rest of our conscious lives.
4 thoughts on “Brother”
A hug from afar. I think of you all every time I water my tiny garden. Looking forward to seeing you again.
Thanks Shelagh, hugs back to all there.
Hi Duncan, it’s Diana here, we met on a few occasions while we both were in DC. Please accept my condolences. I’m happy that you got to spend some time with your brother as imperfect as it may have seemed. The Polish priest Jan Twardowski wrote a poem with a similar resonance as yours: “Let us love people now, they leave us so fast, the shoes remain empty and the phone rings on”.
Thank you Diana, much appreciated. I hope you are keeping well. I will check out Father Jan, he sounds interesting.