I wept when I finished this book. Copious tears ran in sheets down my face, down the valleys of my wrinkles and over my chin. Don’t let that put you off. It’s a funny book, but, it set me to thinking.
I may place myself in the woo-woooh nut-job category by writing this but…
I’ve always felt there was a hole in my life where there ought to have been a brother. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t something I dwell on or think about very often. It’s just that every odd year or so the thought re-surfaces. It’s always there, I haven’t grown out of it. It’s just something in me. A space, a gap, a tiny void.
You see, I had a brother.
I had a brother but only for two days. Twenty-six weeks, I think, and two days. I hardly remember anything at all because I was very little, maybe five or six. I remember my father cooking breakfast for my sister and I because our mother had mysteriously disappeared. He made T-bone steak with fried mushrooms. I remember waiting in my Granny’s house and thinking they would bring home a mewling bundle in a white blanket. They would sit me in Granny’s chair, the one with low arms, and hand me the bundle carefully for a photograph, like when my sister was born. But they didn’t.
So anyway, I’ve often thought how nice it would be to have a brother. He would probably be a bit smarter than me and way cooler. He’d know which bands to listen to and how to download music for free. He’d recommend books. He’d encourage me to take risks and he’d promise to catch me if I fell.
The brother in my head has the voice of Joseph O’Connor.
I’ve been reading Joseph O’Connor’s books for twenty years now and they never disappoint. I guess I picked up the first one out of curiosity. I wanted to know if Sinead O’Connor’s big brother was a good writer. He is, exceptionally so. Joseph O’Connor is one of those writers who chats as if he’d just dropped in for coffee on a Tuesday morning. He speaks my language. He tells a good story. He makes it look easy.
The Thrill Of It All is a book about a gang of kids who form a band. It’s about music and musicians. It’s about how music makes you feel better. It’s about how music makes you better at feeling. It’s about lives with great big gaping holes in them. Chasms.
Joseph O’Connor has been the voice in my head telling me how music can bridge the gaps and friends can fill the holes.
As life would have it, I have some really cool and uber smart brotherly types in my life who do encourage me to take risks and have caught me more than once.
I’ve sat on this post for a week. It has taken a fair old whack out of me.
I’m off to surf pinterest and not be thinking too much too much.