My brother called me this evening at the shop. My letter had reached him and he had read it. I dreaded this call. This re-connection made me nervous. This awkward phase of renewing our kinship. We had both decided years ago to drop each other from our lives. Happy to ignore the other's existence, we kept our connection by proxy of the relatives around us.
"Hello, CRUM Cycles", I answered in my usual way.
"Mike? This is Joe." For a minute I was confused. A familar voice, but not one of recent memory. Then my stomach tightened and I remembered the voice of a brother.
"Oh Hi, I am sorry I did not get right back to you...." I had failed to return a message on the machine last week. I could have squeaked in a few minutes to call back, but I didn't. It was the dread of this moment that had delayed me.
He was having none of it. Classic Joe. He launched right into what he had to say and the ice, as they say, was demolished. Managing to fit a word in here and there, I began to relax. Somehow hearing my brother's voice brought me comfort. I hope mine brought him some.