I do okay most days. Most days I’m fine and I don’t fall into the void of missing my brother. I miss him everyday, but I don’t get that very real pain in my heart where I feel like someone is stretching it apart. My brain doesn’t let that happen. My brain shuts the pain off before it gets there.
But then something happens sometimes and the pain and loss is so palpable that no matter what I do I cannot make it go away. It usually happens over silly and small things.
Tonight I decided to watch Mr. Robot, a show about a socially anxious hacker (among other things). I made it through three episodes before my heart fell apart. Jake would’ve loved this. Jake would’ve loved it and simultaneously critiqued every part of it.
A love of dissecting pop culture was one of the things that my brother and I shared. This show runs deeper though. Compared to many of my friends, and to my brother, I’m a total computer idiot. Besides dysfunctional mitochondria, I’m pretty sure my brother’s cells were made of microchips and he had DNA that ran on Linux…. (well, our DNA probably runs on Windows ME considering how shitty it is.)
The first few months after he died, I thought of his death in silly computer metaphors. Why didn’t they try turning him on and off? Why didn’t they uninstall the OS and reinstall it? But the doctors did both of those things and in the end, they didn’t work.
I wonder if that’s why my heart hurts so badly during moments like these… if it’s mimicking the way his heart felt while it was falling apart and as frail as tissue paper. That’s what my heart feels like right now. Frail tissue paper, made all the more frail with tears from a woman who can’t compartmentalize her emotions.
If you didn’t know my brother, then you probably won’t get why a television show about a hacker is making me fall apart. But, if you knew him, you get it. I want to ask him what he thinks about it. Is it as “realistic” as everyone says it is? What does he think is happening? Is it split personalities? Is it a conspiracy? Is it more complicated than that?
I want to debate with him. I want to talk to him. I want him back.
But that’s not the way things work. And sadly, even two and a half years later, I still have nights like these. Because you can’t shut off love and you can’t shut off loss.