Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dead Ringer by GeekiestGirl

I learned you’d died on Facebook, of all places. While I was driving to a comedy open mic, of all things. But Erika’s goodbye post on your wall sure didn’t seem like a joke. And one call to Kris confirmed it.

He said you’d done it yourself.

That we hadn’t spoken in two months rang loudly in my mind like the gunshot you forced your neighbors to endure.

The call ended with inhuman wails. Sounds I’d never thought myself capable of. Sounds I thankfully haven’t made since. Sounds that you would’ve joked belonged in a shitty Lifetime movie.

Time blurred till your memorial. The smiling one. The good-time guy. The flirt. Gregarious. Charming. Loved. A fantastic hugger. Smelly feet. Depressed?

The service was chock full of your beautiful castoffs. Women you’d rejected for one Seinfeld neurosis after another. All dumbfounded. All sure they could’ve helped you.

Your mother, you enormous prick. She was so small. Silent tears so loud in the front pew with us all staring. Helpless.

Your brother; you thoughtless nimrod. His arm around her tiny form the only thing keeping her from breaking apart. His face was dry.

I watched him worriedly, your brother. The quiet one. The gamer. The recluse. Shy. Geeky. Ignored. A beautiful smile, though rare. Short. Strong?

Of the two of you, he was the one we all would’ve placed bets on. Were we that crass. Had we any clue your family was headed for such devastation.

But we were so wrong, weren’t we? You made sure we never knew your truth.

He was not just a younger, smaller version of you after all.

He was never your funhouse mirror image.

He is your insides on the outside, and he wears them so well.

He is you without the bombastic laugh. Without the affectionate blonde at your side. Without the drink in hand, quip at the ready. You stripped bare. With nothing to hide from us behind.

And that’s how I know he’ll be ok.


  1. I love this one. It's great how the first line hits you square in the face and how the ending focuses on the difference between the two brothers.

  2. Your mother, you enormous prick. She was so small. Silent tears so loud in the front pew with us all staring. Helpless.

    So much in this paragraph. So telling. Great addtion to the week. thanks!

  3. The conclusion makes it so many things clear. That the narrator has realized a dreadful truth about what the dead man held under his surface. That the brother, simply by dint of communicating himself honestly has a much better chace of survival. And I'm with PurpleMoose about "your mother,you enormous prick" that's powerful writing.

  4. This is really, really good. The writing is powerful and I love the pace of it. There's so much to like about it, from the strong opening paragraph to the clever ending. I'm looking forward to more from Geekiest Girl. I hope you'll join us for the weekend challenge.

  5. Thank you all for your kind words. They mean *so* much to me. I'm trying to make writing a habit again, and these challenges really help. :)