My little brother, Morgan, came to live here the other day. He almost went to prison but instead they just charged him a hundred bucks. I thought it was some kind of marijuana charge but it seems like it was something to do with driving without a registration or something like that. I got him a job at the restaurant. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing but most of the people there don’t so why not.
He got here yesterday and I brought him home to drop off his stuff and then I brought him to work. I dropped him off. The bar manager was like, don’t you want to stay a while? Don’t you want to come back and hang out after his shift? I said no and then looked away. She kind of laughed. That was easy.
He’s a quiet kind of guy. I don’t really know him too well.
A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among an austere graveyard.
Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.
“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”
Patrick’s toothsome smile reflected cool moonlight. He took a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He extended the flower to his brother.
Dennis accepted it and dropped it into the slowly opening grave at their feet. “The rose will wither before dawn. Our fate is the same.”
Patrick’s laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed eerily off the faces of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the loam. He tilted his shovel and watched the stuff accumulate along the mound. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”
Dennis nodded. “Further and further we delve into the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”
Patrick scooped the rose from the pit and replaced it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.