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3 June 2017

Snap Into a Slim Jim, Brother

by Andrew

A little mix the title of this is, of Randy Savage and of Hulk Hogan. They remind me a bit of eachother. A clever, little title this is then for what I intend to write. Now, to write what I intend, that will be a clever thing indeed.

There are some people who you meet who you can immediately begin calling brother—if only you'll notice, that is, who it is that you can call brother. And to call another person brother is a thing of some importance. It's recognizing yourself in that person. It's saying, that we are alike, you and I, brother. There is a bond to brothers, a closeness.

To be true, I've never personally began calling someone brother, now that I think of it more as I write. But looking-back, reflecting on memories, writing about them, memories,—as examples and such, or just describing events to myself to remember—there are some old friends of mine—I'll call them—who, when I converse with in my mind through these memories, I call brother. It's the writing that I do that brings-out this. I get it from Borrow, from his "Lavengro" and his "Rommany Rye." It's a nice timing-device, I'll call it, writing brother in a dialogue. But not everyone I call brother when I write of them. Only some are my brothers.

I feel like a monk, by the way, anymore, having completed that pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. So to be a brother of mine is to be a bit holy. Eventhough I am not holy a bit. And, on the contrary, that pilgrimage drove me even farther from the church—a Catholic pilgrimage it is, the camino de Santiago. But I did it anyway. And I am holy, to be sure.

The Italian who I traveled with for a bit on that pilgrimage, he called me brother. He was calling me brother 2 days after we met. And likewise, I was calling him. And then a Basque man I met, Pablo, he was calling me brother from the second sentence he spoke to me. And both of them, looking-back, reflecting, I call brother still.

And in my university days, I had an African friend whom I never called brother. But reflecting-back, I do call him brother. And his cousin whom I met some months later, I consider a brother too. And then, reminded of African friends, I met another on a train. Abbey, he said as we shook hands. Andrew, I replied. That's my sister's name, Abbey. I knew him no more than 15 hours—and will never know him more. But he was my brother, to be certain.

And those bosom-buddies, I call them, I also include as brothers. The kids I went to school with from preschool to eighth grade, 10 or 11 years I spent with them. I rarely see them anymore but here and there. But we are brothers yet. It was one of them who approached me maybe 6 months after that same sister of mine, Abbey, had died. We'd not seen eachother in years or more, this bosom-buddy and I. He walked right up to me, hugged me, and offered his condolences, before he even greeted me.

We must trust our brothers. Love everyone. But you can't trust everyone. But a brother you can trust. And a brother you know is your brother almost immediately—if only you'll recognize. Can you call this person brother? Can they call you the same?


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