Can’t Stop

In response to the Daily prompt

Annoying habits are my youngest brother’s best personality trait. I’ll set the scene for a few examples: 

 1. Shampoo is running down my face, and my hands are in-between soap suds and the shower stream. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the bathroom door. “EM. I HAVE A REALLY IMPORTANT THING THAT CAN’T WAIT AND YOU NEED TO FIX FOR ME RIGHT. NOW.” Sopping wet, I wrap myself in a towel and stick my head out of the door. “Yes, Gage?” He has my mom’s laptop in his hands. “You know that essay you were working on that you told me not to close down? Well, I didn’t close it but somehow I deleted the entire thing and can’t find it.” This only happens when I’m showering, and it is always the essay that is due the next day. 

 2. I’ve just picked Gage up from school. He’s trying to tell me a story from his day, but every single object we pass makes him lose his train of thought. A very, very, very long string of “uh’s” fall from his lips. “Gage,” I say firmly. “For the love of all things holy, finish your sentence.” He can’t remember what he was talking about, then gets frustrated at me for interrupting his thought process. 

 3. Finally, Gage has a tendency to leave his well worn socks balled up underneath the seats of my car. They smell awful, but I can never find them. He’s not allowed to take his shoes off in my car anymore. 

I do love many, many things about my brother. I can’t begin a list, because all my favorite things about him can’t be put into words. However, he does have one habit I find particularly endearing. 

We live in a house that is also home to five laying hens and a rooster. These chickens are Gage’s sole happiness. Everyday, without fail, he checks for eggs at least twice a day. He holds the eggs – no, cradles them – and places them in our egg carton. He then parades around the house showing all of us the new eggs, but no one is allowed to hold the carton themselves or touch the eggs. He places them in the fridge himself with tender and busy hands. It’s touching. It’s cute to see how his sense of empathy grows with the responsibilities he takes on. I love this habit of his, because I love the person he’s creating for himself. 

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I Just Want You to Be Happy 

“Today in science class i learned every cell in our entire body is replaced every seven years
;how lovely it is to know one day i will have a body you will have never touched” [l.m.]

I was an entity of sunscreen skin and chlorine-green hair. That’s how I remember that summer. My feet were wheels under fraying tennis shoe laces and mismatched socks. 

You were obsidian. I felt a singe whenever your hand happened upon mine. I should have known, then, that you were too solid for my months of diving. Your hair was gelled and ten thousand shades of wicked. 

I miss it, though I know now two years couldn’t change two hearts. I am different than you are. I am emerald grass and yellow sunshine, and you are fire-red and black smoke. These aren’t bad things. We need a cleansing fire as much as we need sprout of grass to grow between the embers. They go together, but we don’t. We are not as simple as the earth. 

We are complicated and dividing cells. Don’t you see? We always split up – that’s how it happens for us. In seven years, I will forget the way your anger blasted through your eyes. You’ll forget the way my words washed over you like heavy waves. Forgetting is rejuvenating. 

I need you separately from me, but I need you. You’re my best friend.