Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

17 August 2006

Lucky close siblings

Today my little brother left for school again, the long blue Buick ("behemoth," he says; "ghetto sled," our cousin Jon) nose-up and heavy-weighted in the trunk; the fridge emptied of all of the food and leftovers he took with him; the book I tried to lend him (Murakami, The Elephant Vanishes) left on the dining room table.

I did not want to let him go; I only just got here. What I hate to admit most is that I worry about him now: I worry about his driving to school alone; about his drinking; about his relationship (which he's not even sure how to define) with L., which has torn him up all spring. It is suddenly impossible to finish the spinach salad I had started.

I just felt such a strange (maybe not so strange) thick sadness settle into my chest and shoulders like a fog: I felt, watching the car pull down the drive, waving, as if I would never see him again. I felt it, too, when I said goodbye before flying off to London for the first time. Growing up, we've always been (roughly) in the same place, and we even went to the same university (he followed me there after he graduated from high school a couple of years after me). And now, we go our separate directions again.

(I'm going to visit him next week, but still, this feels like a severance, because next week, it is only a visit.)

I'm struck again by how lucky I am to be among those siblings of the world who count themselves as close.


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