My brother took me to airport. We hadn’t had a chance to talk. We didn’t talk in the car either. Not really. We said goodbye at the check-in counter but he didn’t leave right away, he waited, and I turned and waved to him from the other side of security.
He waved back. I missed him already.
I turned and walked down the corridor toward the gate, already thinking, what’s next, when I glanced to the side and saw him right beside me, silenced by a wall of glass. Surprise! He was waving, clowning from the other side of the wall. He was saying something; I couldn’t tell what it was. How sweet of him, my brother whom everyone loves, the drunk.
I hardly got to see him anymore. Not like this. The whole visit he’d been hunched over the table, sarcastic, waiting for whatever it was to be over.
My brother, the same one who taught me to love the forest.
Now he believed, or said he believed, every word the president said. The attacks didn’t make him like this. He’d been becoming this all along. September 11th just made it official, official justification to be afraid and angry.
My brother used to rescue birds. He even kissed me once, right on the top of my head.
My brother has always been taller than me, and better looking.
My big brother on the other side of the glass. His face open and warm like I’d remembered. How sweet of him to do this. How like him.
I should have said goodbye at the curb, I thought. This is going to kill me.
He was right there, walking right beside me as I walked down the hall. I didn’t know what he was saying. He was laughing.
I walked as fast as I could and tried to seem reluctant.
The glass was ending ahead. I waved with both hands. So did he. My brother, who is taller than me and better looking and always will be.
How horrible these glass walls are. To be so close and not able to be heard or to touch. I can’t imagine I’ll be able to look at one now, whether arriving or departing, without wanting to scream.
How childish. To be as old as I am now--and still sprouting new fears.