Oppa. Bhaijan. Hermano. Athelphos. Berader. Uror. Akhi.
You have a name, but i have only ever known you as Bhaijan and that is how I choose to remember you.
I never thought I would feel the sensation of losing you again. You have been lost for a long time. A lost cause.
As we drove home from Khala's house I watched the streetlights pass on the highway, like man made stars they guide us home. I wondered if you might still be there when we arrived. Gone you are. What a coincidence of a day. Celebrating God in the fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to the Glory. Ill consider this a sacrifice we are all making and let you go. Out of sight, out of mind my brother. I imagined hugging you, telling you I love you. But I only have the strength to do these things in my mind. That will never change. Gone you are before I have the chance to try. That will never change. I miss you before your departure. That never changed either.
I have said so many times that you live like a ghost in this house. Why does it feel different now? Your things are gone. Your room is as empty as your heart. Why does the emptiness that fills your room feel so wrong even though you were never there? You were never here. Maybe physically. But you were never here. Having your things there somehow pacified me into thinking that you would be here, with us, one day. But,
with your possessions out of their place, the belief that I hadn’t lost you yet died.
Purging this place of your presence. What is missing now? The apparition, the hollow vision of you passing me in the corridor every now and then. There will be no more of that. There will be no more sliding notes under your door to tell you things I have not the nerve to say. There will be no more going through your things when you are gone to know you, understand you. No more listening to you play the guitar outside your door, holding my breath so you would not hear me eavesdropping on your only form of speech.
Phantom pain. Believing in a brother that never called himself my own. Phantom. The hurt that houses itself in a corner of my mind that continues to believe you are my blood. Even if you will not.
My brother. You will never know what you mean to me. You have left so many times, why does this feel so final, so menacing? Maybe because I don’t know if or when you will be back, and I wasn’t even this worried when you were in the army. Maybe because as you leave this time, I will never have known you or what I am to you. I may worry that you will come back different. But my greater worry is that you will come back unchanged.
I always thought DC was a breathable city. Not too many skyscrapers, not too many telephone lines crowding the sky. Not much blocking the sky from your senses, not so much contaminating the breaths we take. But maybe it wasn't the city that suffocated you, my brother.