Because you altered the state of the whole universe by going, I will continue to write about you. Somewhere, in some atmosphere, a cluster of stones have modified their trajectory. Here, my complete consciousness has been realigned. You have gone from us; you have abandoned the only manner in which we knew you, and left me alone in our once common struggle to live a life of meaning.
I did not know it was possible to sink any deeper into a shroud of malaise. I started the process even before your departure. The thing inside that sees all things must have been alerted, but I was in the dark. I think of us with no more than twelve years between us, lying on the bed and imagining our time twenty years into the future – we lived to see it. We made it to that place after doing battle in series, trudging through unfamiliar territory, and mastering life in what the powers have termed as the inner city.
We used the best of what we could muster and persisted. We persisted. For even in the many days where I was certain I would fall dead from the strain, you shouldered me and pulled me along. We met the trials of the young men coming of age in our environment like twin apprentices training for a warrior’s title. We held conference on the concrete rails of those Crown Heights stoops, knowing that the adults in the house could not possibly comprehend our strife, nor would we have wanted them to. They had their collective and individual troubles to manage, so we made do with our own; trouble in the yard after school had let out; trouble behind the sliding subway car doors; trouble in the pack of sneakers trailing after us down the block; trouble in the path leading past the project walls; trouble at the edge of the stick-up kid’s knife, trouble through the bullet holes covering the backboard in the park. Like twin apprentices training for a warrior’s title, we met those trials coming of age in our environment. We used the best of what we could muster and persisted. We persisted. My beloved brother, If only for the legacy you have left with me, what volumes of significance your existence has had!