I don’t remember where or when this picture of Steve and me was taken. It looks like an airfield. Those are the Wasatch Mountains in the background. Steve and I used to make stories for hours on end, speaking in the voices of the characters we imagined. Maybe that’s why I rely so much on dialogue in my fiction.
Lately I’ve been sorting through piles of snapshots inherited from my grandmother. On the back of each one she diligently noted the date and who was in the shot. I’m grateful to her for that. Sometimes I can’t recognize faces from long ago.The purpose of my project is to find photos of Steve, scan them, and send them to his son, Hayden. They’re old photos because Steve died in 1987. Looking at them makes me sad. Steve died young. Life wasn’t always kind to him, and he wasn’t always kind to himself. The photos show how he grew. And changed. They stir memories that have been submerged a long time.
The one with me in the ridiculous dress was no doubt taken on Easter. Every year on Easter Sunday we went with Mom and Grandma to an all-you-can eat buffet, always the same one. Steve loved their pie. But I’ve attached that sweet memory to the wrong picture. We’re too young here. The buffet came later.
He was a party animal who could down a six-pack faster than anybody. His favorite novel was Crime and Punishment.
Steve and I lived a thousand miles apart and seldom saw each other as adults. But when we did, things were the same as they had always been. He never stopped being my brother.