I may never forgive you for the smug self-satisfied look as I copped the belting of my life on that wintry morning so long ago, I may never understand your mad right wing politics and love for Donald Trump, your mad racist rants will forever drive me to distraction and, I may laugh at your fear of aeroplanes.
All that is true, but I can also love you dearly for the brotherly love and the drawling phone calls I have come to look forward to so much, as the skies have got darker and things have ceased to work as they should.
Your place after Christmas and at other times has been the site of many drunken nights and a wonderful feeling of family as Madeline and her tribe and Emma and James with their growing tribe, all come together to catch up with Billy and I and sometimes Kayla, Annie, Jassie or Amelia.
Your grandkids outsmart you at every turn and a look of resigned satisfaction softens the dark lines of your farmer’s face. You will rail about homosexuals and Asians then turn and give Billy a cuddle, seemingly unaware you may have insulted him on both counts.
You and I speak openly and honestly about the pain we have shared and we argue loudly into the night, until one of us gets the shits and heads off to bed.
If you have been too loud or too wrong, there will generally be a little note in an envelope in the morning as we leave. you will hand it to me gruffly, with strict instructions not to open until we have cleared the gates.
I will read the note as Billy drives and a tear will trickle down my face. My tough, rough brother has revealed his heart and his love for me.
Why the fuck did we spend so much time running from each other?
We don’t have much in common and it was perhaps more my fault than yours we drifted apart, I can be an arrogant prick at times.
Your birthday lunch on your sixtieth in 2015 is a memory I will always treasure, just the two of us at the winery in Rutherglen, before we went back to your place for the “piss up” as you so eloquently described it.
All Saints was the perfect setting for our lunch, looking out over the lawn and the pond, a warm sun slowly browning the land as summer loomed, and inside; two brothers simply loving this stolen time together.
I would not have wanted to be anywhere else that day, Tez
Your phone calls to see how I am, have become part of my weekly routine.
“How are you Bro” the deep, slow, country drawl echoes around the phone and a smile crosses my face.
Neither of us are great talkers on the phone, so the chats invariably wander into nothingness, that doesn’t matter.
We have both felt guilt and shame, when you have shared that, mere words are petty.
Thank you for everything Tez, even the beating