Standing On The Corner With My Brother

I should’ve taken the camera…but I’m vain. I’d look like a tourist in the middle of Mayberry Country, Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and that would just not do…even though I ate a messy pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Lunch, the tiny restaurant Andy Griffith made famous by mentioning it once on his show.

If I’d thought about it, I would’ve used the camera on my cell phone to record a blip of the wonderful bluegrass band, playing live on the sidewalk. Instead, I called my brother, who shares my love of music and said, “Listen!”

“Who’s on mandolin?” he asked.

I explain he’s a skinny kid with black hair and I have no idea who he is. I don’t mention that the stand-up bass has a baseball cut open and stuck on the bottom to hold the upright in place. I don’t say there’s a sticker on the bass that says “Play naked,” because to disturb musicians by speaking is unthinkable to a fellow musician.

Instead, we stand there, on the sidewalk, my brother and I, a thousand miles apart, sharing the moment, as close as if we were in actuality, side by side.

When I step away and resume our conversation he tells me that he’d called earlier to say Mom is in the hospital with double pneumonia, but she’s much better. He tells me he’s just bought ribs because the Eagles are playing Tennessee and he makes a dish to symbolize the opposition and feasts on it with his friend, Matt, during the game. It is their way of dispensing with the competition.

I hang up smiling because my brother is stepping into the role of family patriarch without knowing it. He is the one who calls now to bring news about Mom. He is the one who checks up on Sister Flea and me. He is the glue now.

God, I love him swell!

And this is why I am not writing more tonight:

Nite Nite!

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Nice to have family you can count on. :)