Saturday, June 12, 2010

Brotherhood, distilled

Alex put on jeans with a thick belt, a shirt with snap buttons, and Jarman two-tone shoes with three-inch heels. He shut down the stereo and left his room.

His brother Matthew, fourteen, was in his bedroom down the hall. Matthew was close to Alex's size and excelled on the football field, the baseball diamond, and in class. He was more competent in every way except the one way that counted between boys. Alex could still take him in a fight. It wouldn't be that way for much longer, but for now, it defined their relationship.

Alex stopped in the doorway. Matthew was lying atop his bed, tossing a baseball up in the air and catching it with his glove. He had thick, wavy hair and a big beak, like the old man. Alex's hair was curly, like their mom's.

"Pussy," said Alex.

"Fag," said Matthew.

"I'm headin out."


- George Pelecanos, "The Turnaround."

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