I don’t remember not knowing the Eugenides’ kids. Kallie and I would put on plays, pretend we were animals and prance around the yard naying and meowing while the boys, Zane and Brenner, our big brothers, would be off mischieving—developing some plan to steal our toy or separate us in the woods. But come dinner time we’d all hang out together, eat burgers, laugh, talk to our parents and then immediately get back to playing until two of us had to go home or we begged our parents to please let them stay over! We’ll be quiet tonight, we PROMISE!
Years passed. Kallie and I discovered boys, school and moving apart got in the way of backyard theater. Brenner and Zane learned guitar, Kallie and I started writing, painting, drawing… Summers in Connecticut continued, but Brenner drove and Kallie and I begged for rides—we slowly grew up.
Before I knew it 6 years had passed and I hadn’t talked to or seen Brenner. Him and I always had a lot in common, a love for NYC, music, art—crazy big curly hair. I was in the city and made my way to Brooklyn to see my old friend, have a slice of pizza and catch up. It was so cool to see a childhood friend as an adult, meet his band and see the tiny apartment they all lived in together. He was living the Brooklyn dream.
A year later I was back in the city for work and anxious to get a new tattoo—who better to ask then my tattoo’d friend Brenner. He gave me some suggestions via text and asked me where I was. I was in the middle of SoHo working—an hour later Brenner pushed through the tourist jungle to come hang with me while I worked. That’s the guy he had turned into, friendships are important and well, I don’t remember a time not knowing him and I guess he doesn’t remember a time not knowing me. Making the effort to come see me in one of the most annoying parts of the city was something a great friend does.
Zane and I talked and reminisced about Brenner the other night. We both decided we’re tired of crying and we think that if he can see us he’d probably laugh and say something like “Come on guys, get on, listen to some sweet music and enjoy. Stop your crying.”
Brenner died on Wednesday. And though I’m crying as I write this, I’m also talking to his sister and remembering all the stupid stuff we four used to do as kids. I’m remembering him for the kick ass soul he was and the cool person he became. Yes, I’m sad, yes I’m still going to cry about it but I’m also thinking about how damn lucky I am to have known him, to have had another big brother in my life. I can’t change what happened so I’m going to remember what we had—that can’t be taken away.
4 thoughts on “Brenner”
Thank you Sloan.
Very well written & I feel your pain. I lost my baby brother Wes on Wednesday as well. It’s a cut that runs deep but I thank God I was able to be here with him & to see the love, joy & kindness who showed all those around him. Cherish the good times & the memories. Use the knowledge that we’re not promised tomorrow to slow your life down & make time for the people you love. I thought I’d learned this lesson years ago but it seems that over time the lesson fades.
Oh my gosh! I so remember those days too, but at our house during “pre-school” and play group. Brenner, Zane and Kyle were the same age. Brenner and Kyle played together quite a bit. You were a tom boy in those days and loved to get dirty and play army with Troy. I still have some of your spilled paint in our basement. I loved that time in our lives! I’m so glad you were able to keep in contact as friends are so important. I don’t know what caused Brenner’s death but it saddens me too. Yes, keep the memories and spirit alive!
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