My brother and I don’t talk about deep things. He’s thirteen and a half, after all, so if he wanted to talk about third world governments & society, solipsism’s metaphysical extent, or the pervasiveness of twentieth century literary themes, I would be shocked. Delighted, but shocked. Nowadays he concerns himself mostly with his Xbox, playing Halo and Call of Duty and other games I’ve never heard of. While I appreciate a good game of Black Ops, generally the intersection of our collective Venn diagram is small. The age gap doesn’t help us, of course. I’m in my twenties, about to finish school, about to think about going to more school in Europe, about to pursue a career, about to live and travel far away, about to partake in adventures and stories that maybe he’ll be able to hear when he’s a little older.

But sometimes you don’t need a lot in common with someone to consider them the most important person in your life. We may not talk about deep things or understand each other on some innate level, but he laughs at my jokes, even the stupid ones. And for that I’ll miss my brother the most when I board my plane tomorrow night. No one laughs at my jokes like he does.