brothers, part 16

when you find the one you might become,
remember part of me is you

— the prophet lyle pearce lovett

Dementia is a funny thing. I understand how it works, but I thought somehow I would be immune from its effect on him. He’d always remember me, his twin brother born a year and 359 days after him. I was never good with deadlines.

And then yesterday, an icy stare and those words. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

It was a rough evening. He wanted nothing to do with me. Went in his room and closed the door. I wondered if that was that. I know he will forget me forever at some point. Just not yet. Please.

And then.

He came in at 5 a.m. today. He just stood there silently in the dark room as I cleared out the early morning cobwebs in my head. Then he softly said “I’m sorry,” and left. That was all.

I finally get up around 8 o’clock. We have coffee and leftover birthday cinnamon rolls. The dogs eat the leftovers.

He’s standing in the middle of the kitchen. He looks at me.

“I’m Rick!” he exclaims.

I agree.

“You’re Gary!” he says.

That’s right, I say.

He pauses. “Who’s the other one?”

Not important, I assure him.

I add: We’re the Smith Boys!

SMITH BOYS! he says, and flexes his biceps. We laugh. I try not to cry.

Then we drive to the same Sonic we frequented so many times when we were young, and get Dr Peppers, like all those returnable bottles (what a concept!) at Granddad’s little Vancourt store when we were kids. We drink them at the park next to the river, fighting off the panhandling squirrels.

I tell him about the daredevils who tried to jump across it on motorcycles. His eyes light up. I remember that, he says.

It’s a quiet, warm morning. We sit and watch the grackles as they go grackling. I’m happy, in a heartbroken way.

Remember part of me is you, the prophet Lovett said.

He remembers.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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