My brother had a knife, one of the knives from the kitchen, from the drawer by the range. I believed he would use it.
So did my sister. He was capable of using it. He had these rages, usually expressed through fists and feet, but now he brandished those three inches of stainless steel. I don’t remember what set him off.
It would never be anything important. Not important to me nor to anyone else, nothing you’d think would make someone angry, nothing that should make anyone angry. We barricaded ourselves in the upstairs bedroom closet, held him back with a chair, until he calmed down or lost interest or something.
I remember my sister’s face, not his. She was five years older than me and not around so much. Maybe she didn’t know how he was, not really, not the way I did. She was trying to make sense of him, I could tell. I didn’t try anymore.
No point. He was broken and that was that. It was something I had to deal with. Our parents were gone too much of the time, both working, both grinding out a living for us. They didn’t see it. The two of us coexisted through school, surfed together — though he was an asshole in the water — and went our ways, in time. He even managed to hang onto the second wife. I still do not try to make sense of him.
It’s likely I didn’t pick up on things back then. That’s what was, nothing more, water under several bridges, and I have as little to do with him as practical these days. It’s not difficult. We live different lives in different states. There are no family Thanksgiving gatherings.
For that, I am thankful.
note: this is essentially true memory, but also the sort of thing that just might end up in fictionalized form in one of my stories, some day