I said to him, my brother, are you ready? And he said he was but he wasn’t.
So I rolled out the nap sack and tossed on the quilt and told him to rest while I planned for our trip the next day. And then I slid like a snake putting back on its skin and tried to sleep but couldn’t, only fitfully, too much jittering through my mind until I finally fell asleep only to wake right back up again at 6:30; a little sooner than usual because we said, he had said, we should make an early start but when I tried to wake him he just grumbled under his breath and rolled over and curled into the quilt of many colors, faded now, our grandmother had sewn with her crooked arthritic hands, what was it, 40 years ago when we were just little boys. I stepped outside and flicked on my head lamp. Frost covered each horizontal surface. Each step disturbed the pre dawn quiet echoing so loudly I hesitated.
I wanted my brother to wake up anyway, so why was I trying to soften my steps?
I laughed at myself as I walked to the stove, lit it and started heating water for my tea.