Some people may know that I reached out to Chloe Caldwell a couple of years ago, after reading her book Legs Get Led Astray. I just identified with it so hardcore and felt like I could finally figure out how to tell my own stories, with that wonderful shamelessness she has. I asked her to look at a few of my essays, and this was one of them. She was a huge fan of this piece, even when I had become discouraged about it, thinking no one would want it, or that there was something about it that people just didn’t like. “Why? There’s nothing wrong with it,” she said on the phone. “It’s perfect.” After leaving it alone for a bit, I finally started sending it out. I tell you all this because I want you to know that sharing your work with writers who believe in your writing is extremely valuable.
Chloe still offers essay editing services. She taught a class on LitReactor and I heard she nailed it.
Thanks to Yvonne Dutchover, Kami Wilt, and Michael Noll for additional feedback on this essay in its earlier and also some of its more frustrated stages. My therapist, Pierce Green, helped me to understand my grief and go through it instead of running from it.
I also want to add that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” played on the radio right when I found out it was accepted by Brad Listi. I’m so very grateful that people are reading about my brother. I will forever miss my little brother — that smack-talking, cheap-drinking, cocky, sentimental and beautiful twenty-six year old. Rest in peace.