When i heard he had died in a car accident the precarious edifice of my self containment dissolved. I was numb with shock yet thinking calmly. While my benumbed body thawed gradually my mind became a compendium of associations, thoughts and reminiscences. It was a phalanx that was assorted randomly. Later on, thinking back, i could think of no causal connection with which these associations unravelled. A consciousness within me, yet beyond me, had taken hold of me. Though i witnessed its unfurling chaos with detachment as though a part of me, extricated from the immediacy of my predicament, needed this impersonal deliberation to cope.
We'd been particularly close as children though after our teenage we drifted apart. The world my brother and i inhabited seemed ephemeral yet it is in its evanescent moments that i find my most durable memories. Our young adulthood was a blur, it passed us by with a haste that was unforeseeable because while we lived and inhabited that moment we did so with utmost intensity and passion. It is with the distance adulthood induces that makes those august days, or should i say, salad days, take on the tincture of romance. And romance, of a sort, it most certainly was.
After our teenage couplings and comminglings he became detached. He withdrew from me. He never married but maintained a dour, stoical, impersonality which bothered me deeply. I had been accustomed to his passionate nature, his ardent, thriving, throbbing teenage lubricious energy. It all seemed deflated , dissipated. It seemed that, when we incestuously blended, a part of him was indissolubly entombed in me. Such, at the very least, was his unconscious misgiving, unarticulated but immutable. I sensed it, felt its insinuating shadows rendering my self sufficiency penumbral. But there wasn't much i could do about it.
I never entered into this relationship knowing that it wouldn't have consequences.We were surreptitious enough to get away with it. And nothing untoward happened. I wasn't thinking of contravening a natural law or breaking a taboo. I just didn't think in those terms. From brother to lover seemed a natural and ineluctable progression . And who else but on my brother could i give form to the contraband nature of my yearnings and desires. I think part of the reason he withdrew from me was that he is heterosexual. I wonder what concupiscent impulse propelled him into this relationship. Was it ennui or disillusion? Was it a desire to propitiate me which i find extremely unlikely. Or was it that , with his inveterate propensity towards depression he found, through the sex act, a semblance of life which ratified the reason for him to exist. But it did take a part of himself out of him. Or rather it reverted him, after this anomalous lapse into life, into the crepuscular antechamber of unutterable grief.
So now he's dead and the hypothesis of suicide has been tentatively given knowing that three witnesses saw him drive off the kerb into the ravine. Whether his death is self willed or fatalistic i feel a sense of relief mingled with dismay. The guilt of dispossession he wrought in me, with his distancing, is loosening a bit. I valedictorily commemorate our fortuitous intersections with a gladsome realization that i survived and that too emotionally . Such survival is, even in the shadow of mortality, adequate recompense.