The Pair Who Stayed
The man enters the house with a tremendous banging and hawking up phlegm. He has a cold again. He goes in the kitchen and runs the water at full power— always full power— and clatters the knives in the sink and rummages, loudly, for something to eat. Then he flings himself into his seat, turns on the TV and flicks abruptly from one station to another. It’s rude, I think, cutting off so many speakers mid-word. Finally he clicks the power off and tramples down the hall to the bedroom. He’s my brother. And only when I hear him murmuring to the cat do I realize what I meant to say: Is your cold any better? Did you have a nice time tonight? How was your day?