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  • Hello? Testing… testing

    This is my voice. Is it as squeaky and flat as you remember?

    I don’t really remember the sound of yours.

    Whenever we came to visit, to play in the pool, our dads drinking beer together, you were usually off doing your own thing. The older cousin with her own friends, too busy to hang with baby sisters and little cousins visiting from New York.

    I never knew what you did in the restricted area that was your bedroom. And I was too afraid to find out. Once I caught a glimpse inside as you grumbled at everyone to leave you alone and you shut the door on us.

    I carry a vague memory of your voice from your wedding eleven years ago. You were laughing and joking and regaling me with stories about your crazy life in Arkansas, your neighbor Billy Bob Thornton, about learning your son Joshua was autistic.

    You marveled that here you and Frazier were, getting married after 10 years and 2 kids together (and a third on the way). In a wedding you had little hand in planning, organized by your mother and sisters and cousin Dwayne.

    And you told me that you’re a writer, writing for local newspapers, online, teaching, writing any way and anywhere you could.

    As kids, I didn’t know who you were. But now I could hear your voice: quirky and unconventional, serious and sarcastic, adventurous even when perfectly still.

    When you and Frazier and the kids made your way back to Arkansas, I promised myself that I would always listen for your voice.

    Hello? Hello?
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