Yearning to hear my brother’s voice

He died 26 years ago, and I can’t remember what he sounded like.

HIS HAIR. REDDISH-BROWN, it turned almost blond in the summers. I remember that. His eyes. I picture those perfectly. A mix of blue and green, they were a mirror image of mine. His smile. Yes, I remember that well, too. Stretched wide across his face with straight white teeth, his smile was bigger, more impish than mine.

But I cannot remember the sound of my brother’s voice. I heard Kevin’s voice nearly every day for the first 21 years of my life. Now only bits of his timbre linger in my memory. There was that hoarse off-key screech when he sang Billy Joel’s “Big Shot” in the shower. “You had to be a big shot, didn’t ya. . . .” Once, as a joke, I recorded Kevin singing in the shower. I lost that cassette tape long ago.

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