Drowning in sound, plain view. Addicts, fumbling over vice; devouring, compiling tones. Craving tension, barely savoring release. Hunters ensconsed.
I moved in with whom I consider my most trusted ally. A friend from Mexico. It’s just we two. We two boys together clinging. Cities wrenching.
We fall in holes together. Soar out together. We share minds; heartistic harmony. We pine together. We drink together, laugh together, listen together, sing together, lose and find hope together, smoke together… We sing (brilliantly) together, songs arranged to fulfill our foray. He told me once that my voice was like a warm, fuzzy cannon. His voice is the love and torture of two star-crossed, only married when he sings. We’re in an internet rock band. We’re The Savage Detectives, after a book by Roberto Bolaño. It’s about the Mexican avant garde, fearlessness, having no idea what to do or chase except something like love and poetry and truth, ruthlessly. We snoop around Boston, tapping thumbs, making hearts.
I’m too early in the morning. He, groggy, me, uppity, talk of dreams. We both have vivid recall so we share. Mine surround WWIII, girls, bionic cults, the CIA. His surround poignant TV advertisements, girls, home town ice cream in the park, talkative wax museums, tar monsters. Lately, I haven’t remembered mine. I’m sure we’ve both had a few that we don’t share. The subconscious is not limited by anything, it’s not limited by one’s desired sights, desired feelings… it’s unlimited; probably laughing at what we choose to share, the tip of the iceberg, tentative tight words.
He’s got almond eyes with smile marks and floppy black hair. A stately skull. His skin is on the very light side of olive, holds him together nicely. An immense sense of style. You couldn’t mistake him for anything but a creator, an artist. He’s got this one sweater: alternating blue white and red, almost cross-stitched, unravelling right by his heart. Any t-shirt he wears beneath it becomes the fourth color of the sweater.
His brain is made for art. He can tell you, any day of the week, which architect designed the U.N. Building in New York, other locations the architect had erected buildings, from where the architect found inspiration, what the architect was going for… Just last week we were at a dinner party and somehow we got onto the topic of the Isabella Gardner Museum robbery, the biggest art robbery ever to go unsolved. Every little detail at his fingertips but he won’t spew them unless the correct question is asked. Class around the facts, he’s a vessel for them, but also, an ignitor, a pusher, an attractive, more engaging version of them. The conversation explodes with curiosity. Chuckles and oos and ahhs. Bushy tailed eye-contact all around. (When he first told me about the robbery I was impressed, unnerved even, by every little detail he had. Timing his prose with humor and wit, I wished for an audience beyond me and there we were.) Nobody asks about the security guard so I relay my personal favorite fact that the poor kid had his whole head duct taped (afro and all) to a light pole for 7 or 8 hours, breathing just through punctured nose-holes in the tape. He recalls that the security guard was actually a student of the college we go to. Poor bastard, that guard.
I met my brother two years ago, in a course designed to share and intellectualize music. Everyone would bring a song a week based on a topic assigned by the professor. Our tastes were similar, but different enough to mean that we could infinitely share music with each other. It wasn’t until the next semester, though, that we started mixing songs together. Every week we’d mix, us flying around in a control room, frantically patching and unpatching gear, fiddling with knobs and faders, intensely listening. AB-ing compressors and EQs, looking sideways at each other, making terrible puns, heads weaving, “In….? or… out?” Always, there would be talk of life and the general battle. The good fight. Us deeply romantic, passionate fellows flung from far away colliding. At times, our intensities met and danced around the room like a weed foxtrots with cement or a volcano tangos with Earth. Orange glow, golden beams. More’n sunshine, more’n moonshine. True grit. The closer and closer we got, the more and more we found ourselves together. People knew us as a pair. Solo, it is inevitable someone will ask, “Hey where’s your bro?”
We let each other down every once and a while, balancing the scales. We are so very out for each other. So very in love with each other. That’s why it hurts like a motherfucking bee-sting on the spine, like a god-damned lobotomy when we fail each other. That’s why we swallow the nails we don’t talk about. That’s why we don’t even have to talk to communicate. That’s why we surprise our peers. That’s why we do incredible things. We have a very crooked door. We have a very creaky kitchen floor.
I meet two girls on the train. Two unstoppably beautiful women on the train. They invite me to hang out. Nervous to meet these two alone, I invite him. Understanding, poetry-imbibing, enigmatic him. Our first outing outside of addiction. We meet them at a hookah bar, frozen in time.
I refuse to forget the time, when we took a trip, all day jaunt. I finally bled a page. With a pen. Like that scene in Harry Potter where some book (Tom Riddelo’s notebook, I think) is stabbed over and over, gushing ink. The auburn in my hair, I finally saw. The plum in his, I finally saw. He wondered what his animal looked like and we twisted in the sun. Two fools, try’na have some fun. The openness of words, we explored. The park and the forest. The childlike sense of wonder. “Remember, as a child, always feeling a little heat? Running around?” he, articulate sniper of English, asked. We exhaust in the doorway hours later and lounge all over one and other. Absolute closeness. To be anywhere else but under the arc… Under the arc we stare, holding eyes in our own, spouting thinks of all shapes and size. As if the trip have given us the chance to meet as we would’ve met as kids. Resting in slow breath armor under the arc, like a coca-cola can and a pepsi can in the same recycling bin.
I wasn’t born with my brother, I had to find him.