Editor’s Note: This was submitted during our downtime and when we took a look at it we attempted to contact the author via email but received no reply. Normally if an author does not respond we chuck the submission, but we decided to go ahead and publish this, with a few minor stylistic changes, because of the power of the subject matter and the emotion with which it is told.
This year will be the two-year anniversary of my brother’s death. I wasn’t even here when it happened. My brother was the closest friend I had; he was a very special person. Lucas was born deaf, at the time of his birth the doctors said he wouldn’t make it to see seven. Well they were close; he made it to 16. He was born with a muscle disease but this handicap didn’t slow him down much. He could only crawl when he was little so I would put him in my red wagon and pull him around the block. That is when we began to grow very close. Funny how as soon as I leave, move out of state, he was struck down.
Lucas was riding his bike to get what he usually got at night after playing basketball: a slushy and a hotdog. A truck without headlights struck him and killed him. The driver was drunk, but cops fucked it all up. They jump-started his truck and let him go home, uninspected. He never lost his license, he never had to go to court. To think Lucas spent all those years believing in God, and when he needed him most (when our family needed him most) he was absent.
When I got the phone call from my dad that he had been struck, I got the first plane back from Seattle to be there. He didn’t die instantly, he held on. He was the strongest person I have ever known. As soon as I landed my father drove me to the hospital where I sat by his side for three days. In comparison to the aftermath, those three days were the best days I’ve had. I never left the room, holding his hand in mine to make sure he kept clean. The funny thing, which no one believes, is that when I first came into his room in the intensive-care-unit he had tears rolling down his face. When I said his name and held his hand, his hand moved. I don’t give a fuck what anyone believes, that happened. He was in a coma, the first thing the doctor did was take my mother, father, sister and i into an office. He then asked us if we wanted to donate his organs. I was outraged. I went at him, but my father got in the way. I would have snapped his fucking neck. I hate doctors. I hate cops. I hate god. I know he exists and sure he is almighty, but fuck him.
I know these things are in the past now, but somehow they aren’t. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t even be fucking happy. Most of my time is consumed by writing, thinking, crying, getting sick from thinking, and getting sick of crying. I have no idea how to cope with this. I need help. Sometimes it takes all of my will power not to drive to the motherfucker’s house and kill his entire family. An eye for an eye. I keep forgetting though, that I live in America: home of the free, home of the cowards. Even though there were many eyewitnesses that saw him drinking before and while he was driving the cops didn’t test his blood for alcohol. What a wonderful fucking existence.
My family has fallen apart. They have all lost their minds and are ignoring these things. I can’t even bring it up in discussion. What is killing me the most inside is that I wasn’t there for him for that year and a half I was away. I didn’t email him, I didn’t call on the TTY (a device that has a screen that deaf people use in place of the telephone). I did nothing, except take him for granted. I hate myself for that, I really do.
When I think about us as kids I can barely take it. I miss him every waking moment of my life. I remember teaching him how to play basketball, and I remember the last game I played with. The smile on his face was irreplaceable. No this isn’t some sappy movie, this is real. I admire his dedication and at the same time I notice how I am dedicated to very little besides smoking weed on my days off work.
The last thing I want to say is about his muscle disease. He was a very strong person. He struggled with it for a long time. Lucas went to school upstate in Rochester at a school for the deaf. Being deaf was his only handicap, as he outgrew his muscle disease. I always told him to never give up and he never did. He made the soccer team at his school and even though he was probably the smallest guy on the team he would lift weights and practice every day. Even when the team didn’t, he did. He made it onto the varsity team. He was only fifteen and he e sat on the bench all year. His moment came when one of his teammates was injured and in two minutes he had scored his first goal and it won the game. That is how I remember him. A fucking achiever, he was beautiful.