Monday, September 5, 2016

A Birthday Gift

The whole night, they played our favorite songs.

It's September and I headed to Denver for a weekend of geek and fun at the convention that I've been going to for years. But I'm a little sad this time. This year it fell on my brother's birthday. He's been gone 9 years and it feels like 9 weeks sometimes. Especially today. But I have things to do so no time to fall apart. I drive into the city and I start to notice that the music is following me.

On the street, at the bar, in the restaurant. Bowie. Tears for Fears. Queen. Just when "Under Pressure" came on, two tables from us, a woman yells the word "Mitchell!". I don't hear his name very much any more. She was telling a story to her friends, something about someone not hearing their name correctly. She said, "Nick? No, my name is Mitchell!"

It was like a knife in my heart. It was cold water down my back. But it was also a warm rock in my stomach. Painful and happy. I blinked away the tears and paid for my drink.

The next day, I dressed as Harley Quinn. The queen of crime in Gothem City, rival to Batman and hopeless fool. I was so mad cause I knew he would think this was so cool. He would be impressed. He would think I was cool. It was also his birthday. Driving, listening to the radio, something I rarely do, The Beatles "Birthday" plays. The very next song Heathens plays, which is the theme song to Harley's transformation in the new film (which he would have loved) and a favorite song on mine. 

I had to say it out loud cause it finally hit me.

I get it.

I hear you.

Happy Birthday, little brother.

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