You Wanted a Reunion

Journal of Microliterature 2015

“You were a liar, cheat, thief and con man,” my brother said to me after he hugged me hello and steered us to the airport bar. He waved the waitress over and ordered a double gin and tonic.” Don’t get me wrong, I love you and I’ve always loved you and looked up to you.”

He looked at me as if to hear a response and when he didn’t he took a gulp to finish his last drink and continued. “You never cared about anyone but yourself and I don’t want to hear your crap about mommy beating you and telling you that you were an accident and not wanted. That has nothing to do with how you made her feel. She constantly cried over your behavior and you can tell me all you want that if you didn’t steal food from the market you worked at we’d have gone hungry. Well let me tell you something, we would gladly have gone hungry than to have a thief in our midst bringing shame to mommy with every bite. She also knew where you were getting the money you brought home. You couldn’t have earned that much at the corner market.

“You think this is funny? Waitress bring me another. Right, a double. You caused nothing but grief. You committed fraud when you took pictures of the roller skaters at their convention and then couldn’t deliver and mommy had to make good on the money and she didn’t have any money and you knew that. You know that story you tell about mixing up the chemicals when you developed the film is so much bull; it’s so you. You were eleven and old enough to know better.

“You said you missed me and wanted to get together for a couple of days and catch up; well feel free to catch up. Maybe you don’t want to talk about stealing her three silver dollars when you were eight but she cried and cried when she found them gone.

“You keep writing stories about a mother who beats her son, who jabs at him with a broomstick while he hides under the bed and don’t you think that people know who you are writing about? Don’t you care that making her life miserable when she was alive was enough so now you have to besmirch her memory while she’s in her grave.

“And don’t think I don’t know you want to tell me that you paid for her grave and her funeral. You always made it clear that you blamed mommy because we grew up poor and you hated poor. Too bad. Live with it. You’re almost sixty so get over it and never talk to me again about her. I don’t know why I did this but I brought you a bunch of pictures of mommy when she was younger and us three boys with her, you probably don’t have any interest but at least I’m doing the decent thing and showing them to you. You want me to let you borrow them to make copies? Fat chance.

“Tell me. Why did you hate her so much that you made her cry every day? She never once, waitress another double please, she never once complained about you but I’d see her crying and I’d ask her why and it was always you. You want another, No? Better that way; you could never hold your liquor. Why did you always have to get in trouble at school and make mommy go to the principal’s office? Didn’t you care? You stayed out late and never called and came home scuffed up like you were in fights all the time but you always had a bankroll. So what if you’re the one who gave me my allowance all those years and bought me my first car. Where did the money come from? It wasn’t honest money. Mom knew that and it broke her heart to take food and rent money from you. You were one miserable fucking kid.

“One more and we’ll leave the airport and go to our hotel and change and see the town and catch up. I hope you got us a decent hotel and a decent car. You did remember to rent a car didn’t you? It would be just like you to forget something as important as that. We can start getting reacquainted on the way to the hotel. I hope it’s on the beach. Is it a good one with its own beach and pool? Does the pool have a swim up bar? You can afford those things. You only cared about making a lot of money and not how we felt at home so spend it, Mr. Big Shot.  I can pay my share. I’m no free loader but you set up this get-to-gether so you pay and by the way flying here economy sucked; I’ll bet you didn’t. Waitress . . .

Hey! Where you going with your bag? The car rental’s this way. You’re heading towards the ticket agent. You never were very bright. I see nothing has changed.

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