What is it about being alone in a strange hotel room that drives me always to think of my dead twin brother? He died shortly after we were born. I did not know him. Yet always in places of loneliness he seems to be with me as he is, early morning, before sunup in the airport Sheraton in Frankfurt, Germany. Am I tired? Does this make me sentimental? Do I have Madame Blavatsky on the brain? Is he always with me? Will genetic research prove it? Am I really living for two? I had wild dreams last night and woke and felt him with me. It’s a sensation known to everyone I think—that your private dead are there just when you weren’t especially thinking of them. Yes this is the source of all myth. Yes and even in a sterile, megalithic business hotel there’s a mysterious and unanticipated shiver and I wonder how many other rumpled travelers are with me.
ABOUT: Stephen Kuusisto is the author of the memoirs Have Dog, Will Travel; Planet of the Blind (a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”); and Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening and of the poetry collections Only Bread, Only Light and Letters to Borges. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a Fulbright Scholar, he has taught at the University of Iowa, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Ohio State University. He currently teaches at Syracuse University where he holds a University Professorship in Disability Studies. He is a frequent speaker in the US and abroad. His website is StephenKuusisto.com.
(Photo picturing the cover of Stephen Kuusisto’s new memoir “Have Dog, Will Travel” along with his former guide dogs Nira (top) and Corky, bottom.) Bottom photo by Marion Ettlinger