I hadn’t thought of it in years. Suppressed in my memory it was, until…

Watching “I’ll Be Me”, the story of Glen Campbell’s final tour and his fight through Alzheimer’s Disease — an hour in, perhaps, and surrounded by H and pals —  a lump filled my throat. It was a scene where the singer, in paranoid rage, screamed at his wife and stormed out of the room only to reenter minutes later, smile on his face…as if nothing had happened.

“Repentance without reconciliation” she dubbed in the voice/over. The phrase—it clung to me as my mind’s video rolled.

‘Must have been the late 90’s —I’m not quite certain. Maybe H recalls, but what I can confirm is we weren’t talking. Brothers, yes– but only on paper. I was persona non grata at his house yet it was a two-way street. Indeed, he’d have been shunned from my home if only I’d had one.

I somewhat remember the beginnings. Oh, there were emails back and forth, each of us crafting Pulitzer Prize worthy missives with our positions. (I wonder if he retained his; mine are in Carrie’s basement — sealed). And I could tell you it was ugly, but — after our first run of skirmishes, it was just…a vacuum. He went his way; I went mine— and with Our Father (Albert) In Heaven and our mother impotent to intervene — it just was. (Note to self: Ask Aunt Helen if she remembers those days. I wonder what her take was.).

Days became months became years. I don’t know if it was one year or four. Truly, I just don’t know. Max Alvis last played for the Tribe in the sixties and I can tell you he was from Jasper, Texas. Len Barker threw a perfect game when Michael was a kid. I can tell you not only that it was a Friday night and that we watched it together on a Wrenford bed, but I can state unequivocally and without looking that it was on May 15 against Toronto, that my son’s mother was elsewhere playing mahj and that, thrilled she wasn’t when she called mid-evening and heard her three year old awake in the background.

THIS I can remember, but in the haze from the worst of my times I cannot, for the life of me, tell you how long Hal and I fought, what precipitated it, what his claims were, what mine were…or even what my children felt about it all.

I can tell you, though, how it ended: with a phone call, in matter of seconds.

“I need a brother” said the voice. “I don’t want to talk about the past — not at all—can we just get together?”

Sitting at the now-defunct Caribou, perhaps a few days later, we moved straight ahead.

Repentance it was, mutual at that, and God knows how long ago — without reconciliation.

Tshuvah, (if I grasp it correctly), is my religion’s mandate to identify wrongs as a requisite for repentance. That goes (I’m thinking), to cleansing one’s soul. As for relationships — cleansing them — I’m not sure that matters.

Not once in the decade plus have I ever looked back. I’m guessing, in fact, that neither has H. Never has it come up, that schism. Indeed, friends eyeing our 2015 bond might well not believe it. In today’s world it doesn’t compute. It would be like, say, trying to convince my grandchild that once there were only three TV stations.

Sometimes time needs time. Sometimes, like with my brother and me, it’s both time and change.

I live in a world where I’d rather be happy than right, and I’m all the better for it.

There was a half hour left, last Saturday, when that scene was shown. In the bittersweet of the final segments, I watched the screen but I kept thinking back.

— To the day H and I reunited in heart without reconciling the facts.

It was a poignant movie and tears rolled down my face. From both eyes they fell, (but only one was for Glen).

* And in a related story, the weather forecast for Plainview, NewYork this weekend calls for temperature in the forties.

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