I came home from work today to find the Butcher sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV.

“How was your day?” He asked and I said, “I hate my life.”

He asked, “Why?”

And I said, “No good reason.  Nothing bad happened.  Everything is fine.  I’m just miserable.”

And he said, “I know just what you mean.”

And you know, that’s the thing about brothers, when your brother says “I know just what you mean,” you know it’s the truth.  You know he’s looking right at you and really seeing you as a person he has loved his whole life and who he knows as well as he knows himself.  And it’s like you can put it down for a while, whatever it is that you’re carrying around with you, you can just leave it right there at the front door, recognized, acknowledged, and of no consequence, at least for a while.

“We could run away and become train engineers or conductors, whichever.  It doesn’t really matter to me.” He said.

“Is there a difference?”‘

“Does it matter?”

“No, I guess not.”

There’s a contentious theory that before the Indo-European invasion of Europe, European people lived in matrifocal tribes, where the primary family unit was a woman and her brother(s) and her children, and, if she was alive, the woman’s mother.  Lovers came and went, but the mother’s brother was constant and responsible for performing the duties we now assign to fathers.

It’s said you can still see the echoes of this in some old European mythology–the faint suggestion of the important role of the mother’s brother.  Odin, for instance, learns his most powerful charms from his matrilineal uncle.

I dread the day the Butcher leaves me.  I always hope it’s just some indefinite day in the future that won’t soon actually come to pass.  Anyway, it’s not today, which is good, because I got through today in large part because he made dinner and watched NCIS with me, even though I don’t think he even likes the show.

I’m lucky to have him.  And I mean that in the holiest sense of the word.