Missing From His Own Memorial

When your dead brother is a super star

Missing From His Own Memorial

When your dead brother is a super star

After the service, Quentin and I sat around the kitchen table and catalogued Alex’s faults.

“He was so arrogant,” I began.

“Yes, and selfish, too,” Quentin agreed. “Do you remember the time he wouldn’t let us have any strawberries?” Our older brother, usually so fair minded, had denied us a single berry from an entire flat of luscious fruit. Suddenly, it was 1973, the three of us bored teenagers lounging around that other kitchen table, that long-ago summer in New Mexico.

Grateful for the memory, I continued. “He always pretended to be so caring and generous, but I sold him some pot once and it was months and months before he ever paid me back.”

“Well, you don’t get to be as rich as Alex and not love your money,” Quentin said. “He could be such an asshole.”

It was true. There was the Alex we’d grown up with, and then there was “Alex,” the brand, our family’s Golden Boy. That day there’d been slide after slide of him paragliding in the Andes, heli-skiing in the Himalayas, touring the Silk Road on his burly BMW motorcycle. Our brother as handsome, rich, and brash as Richard Branson. We’d been outshone by him our whole lives.

“Do you remember how mad he got when we cheated at Scrabble? How we’d jerk his chain by ganging up against him?”

Quentin laughed. “You mean that time he upended the board and stomped off in a rage?”

Why were these the memories we cherished? We’d both adored our brother.

“He cared so much about the rules and “playing fair.” A game was never “just a game” to him.”

Quentin nodded. “He might have bent the rules, but he never broke them. And yet, he always won.”

“Yes!” I was still outraged, remembering. “First, every single Monopoly game. Then later, the game of life. Everything he touched turned to gold. And so charismatic. Everyone wanted a piece of him. It was infuriating.”

“Until this final game. This one he just lost.”

“The only game he couldn’t win.” Sorrow stabbed so sharp I gasped. He’d played by all the rules.

KATE FRICK SHERIDAN, memoirista /writer, reader, plant nut / www.frickatewrites.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store