and just when i am about to break up with the internet, we finish our project and i receive the sweetest e-mail and my brothers, who are on opposite sides of the world right now, find me on aol instant messenger and we ensue in a half-hour chat. we cross state lines and time zones and oceans, and in one five square inch window, we reminisce and crack jokes and insult each other and make plans for christmas. it’s the next best thing to getting rowdy over a few beers. it’s almost as good as a hug. it had been, we estimated, three years since the last chat. back then, we said we should do it more often but, of course, we never did. this time, we’d better. i miss them too much to let them off so easy.