5 o’clock in the texas morning
I’ve got a long, long ride
— the prophet michael murphey
You once named your column after that song. We had so many long, long rides back in the day. Austin, Kerrville, Big Bend, Terlingua, the Guads. I was always riding shotgun, the kid brother you allowed to share your adventures.
I don’t know where this last trip is going. But I’ll be there, embracing your laugh and your goofy expressions and that sense of wide-eyed wonder that still refuses to be extinguished.
Cactus Jack drinks coffee black
Tells me it’s my lucky day
You taught me to love the road. And a good adventure. And a great story. It doesn’t have to be happily ever after. I miss you most when I’m on the endless stretches of Texas highways you loved so much.
I’m sorry this is happening. I’m sorry I spent a week getting your cat addicted to the Fancy Cat Treats. I’m sorry I ate your french fries while you were in the boy’s room. And I’m sorry I’m sitting in a roadside rest area typing a letter you would hate.
But I’m so glad you’re my brother. We’ll figure out the third act.
Outside the sun is up
and the wind blows me like a dixie cup
down the highway
I have an old voice mail from you on my phone. “hi sorry i missed your call. kate and anne are here, so we’re doing a lot of hugging.” The girls are giggling in the background. Such a perfect moment. I’m glad you missed that call.
Well, it’s almost 5 o’clock on a texas morning and I really do have a long, long ride. I wish you were here to share it.
I love you. I’m sorry you’ll never see this. See you soon. We’ll do a lot of hugging. I’ll bring more Fancy Cat Treats. Sorry.
your dear and worthless brother