I remember it specifically. He was sitting there, eyes focused, intent on the worn fingerboard. Trimmed nailed fingers, wide with a few ridges across the fore, plucked at the steel strings whilst their counterparts pressed down on the fret boards. The notes came out with speed, yet he moved with ease, grace. He didn’t notice me sitting on the light green leather sofa, hunched over my knees, gazing at him with a strange mix of awe, jealousy and enchantment.
The sound. It was, as cliché a phrase, like water trickling so very gently at dusk over small, rounded stones. It was a lullaby waiting to be formed, then it picked up, gurgling, rushing, sweeping and swerving, a rainfall melody, a waterfall of harmonics, and it swept me away. He painted our front room with the sound of his guitar. He clothed the curtains in precious raiments of acoustic notes: they slid, they crawled and they gently kissed everything.
I remember this hush. It was deep inside of me. The noises of my mind were quietened, and I let him in to the deepest, darkest part of my soul. His gentle melody was like a smooth balm, it overwhelmed me so softly. The notes just kept trickling out, and his eyes were shut tight, lower lip hanging over upper, chin slightly forward, left shoulder raised. Sometimes his nostrils flared, they seemed to be speaking, counting the rhythm that i couldn’t hear but I could feel.
A year later I was sitting at a computer. We’d had a fight, i think, probably, knowing me. But it came on, through my plastic earphones. The recording of that moment. I felt my heart swell, it stopped. This sorrow bubbled inside me, and this all-encompassing warmth, this deep, deep sense of falling in love. A sacrificial, authentic love.
That was the day i fell in love with my brother. Not in a carnal, or romantic way, but that agape style. Familial, a deep sense of appreciation, respect, honour. After that piece of music had strolled easily from his callused fingers. It was the moment when I realised, I loved him – not because we shared the same genes, but because I loved him. Because he was someone who represented so many things I admired. He was someone who shone, and reminded me to shine.
He took me into the purple and out again.
His music still shades my mind, and its gentle hand caresses my wounds. His music, inspired my voice, his music, at that time, was my voice.