Sometimes, if I strain my eyes hard enough, I can see him as he sits on that mahogany chair we bought at Gravesend all those years ago; eyebrows furrowed and pen in hand. I’ve come to enjoy the lad’s stories, though I can hardly remember the majority of them at the moment.
I see something in the boy; a look he has that mirrors yours. A glimpse of our youth – one that hearkens back to those days of running through the grassy cliffsides by the coast, cycling to Marling Cross and back, picking the pockets of unfortunate fishermen. He is, at best, an heirloom of our days long gone.
I recall waking up every morning to view the sunrise. The sounds of sparrows hiding between the redwoods. The scent of Mother’s cooking. The taste of being alive.
Those times are the only pieces left as the mind crumbles away.
The boy is somewhat reserved, at times I even wonder if he really is there to listen to my ramblings, or whether he has simply scurried off to god knows where. All I know is, he is the sole part of me that will live on, lest age and disease gets the best of us.
We are remnants, dear brother. Artifacts of years long past, yellowing pages of an atlas. I cannot remember exactly what life tasted like before my sickness, but I knew it comforted me, kept me warm.
I am cold. I do not look forward to new years and new candles on a birthday cake. I do not fear the future, but I shan’t anticipated it.
In the fragmenting memories that haunt the back of my mind, I can see Mother and Father, and dearest June. She still writes to me frequently, though I’ve come to notice a repetitive tone in her letters. Haven’t actually seen our sister since she ran off to London, though I’m sure she’s living well.
I hear Arthur sobbing at times. All I tell him is, “Son, you’ve got a long life ahead of you. Don’t waste a moment worrying about where it heads, lest you get stuck on a path you were veering away from”.
Wise words, though I really should’ve asked you for the rights to use them.
I believe we have not long to wrap up the remnants of a long and broken life. I pray that suffering is only temporary, and time will heal all.
I pray you are in good health, and I shall expect your reply soon.
Best wishes to Hannah, I’m sure your little girl has grown up well.
Live well, Dear Brother.