The Everly Brothers on Warner Bros

Blood? Thicker'en water. And blood brothers? Well, I was an young, making up siblings, selves, and phantom entities to play with, talking to myself about my favorite bands. Until the Beach Boys that is.

They were brothers (and cousins, too), family through and through. I was turned onto them by another lonely child in high school, latch key hearts, the start of music's furtive kinship and club. And so we became brothers, turning onto music together, being so cool with our cigarettes without labels. While our HS peers blabbed aloud about Pixies, Beatles, Doors, Jane's Addiction, we secretly learned the doctrines laid out by Pet Sounds, consoled by a gospel that said there is an answer, that we weren't made for these times, one day it would all work out, and wouldn't that be nice? Music could foster new families, bonds, bands, and so it did for us.

Waters rise though, flood levees, encroach on exclusivity. Blood takes to higher ground, flows on, leaves the River City that was once home. Long-distance tape trading, letters that wished to burn the wires clean, subliminal missives, always new bands, new sounds, but despite sharing such small slivers of truth hidden in mix tapes, my brother and I grew estranged, and even though I too moved to reside in the same city, between these two rivers, the bond was as unrecognizable as my friend's weary face.

It took a four a.m. session in front of these speakers, the volume turned low, so as to just barely parse those vibrato-less voices seeping free and merging, that we made amends. We were wasted, capsizing from the night's chemical combo platter, the mind dancing like a razor as the body dripped apart, like bums nodding on the benches. But a moment of the past flashed between us as we heard those voices anew, and we were together again, with the Everlys harmonizing, and we had to laugh: both sets of brothers, on the same powders, the same pills, the same bottle, through a long and sleepless night.

These new rituals were not so free and easy though. Highs got higher, and whether at such snowy precipices or only slight increments, perception differs. In an instant, the connection dissipated; we were never blood, just old friends grown old, and the hairline difference that the Dalai Lama elucidated once, between flower and thorn, friend and enemy, had grown to a chasm. Brothers Gallagher maybe, but not Everly. "Such is the memory of the life before," as Don and Phil sang on "I Wonder If I Care as Much."

Another friend from an old band visited me this weekend, from that same River City. Our old friend, we don't mention his name. Or rather, I don't ask. I refuse to say that name, to ask of his welfare. I wonder if I give a fuck. We instead talk about records we like, smooth the surface like most men do: about music, ERAs and OBPs, fishing stories, stock portfolios, the quotidian business as masque. And talk, of all things, about The Everly Brothers incredible single, "The Lord of the Manor."

For a split second in the conversation, I felt that unplumbed aperture, and think of that promise the brothers once sang back to that river: "You're still my home... I miss you." I wonder if there is such a return.