When my brother comes around he says “You always leave too many windows and doors open.”
Charlie asks him if he fancies a pint at the pub on the corner. "I'm at home here," he always answers.
My brother smells of dogs and cigarettes and the dust of pub upholstery. He smells of game and sex.
Our carpets are beige. My brother thinks this is funny when he is drunk. While he is here I balance on a tiny peak, a step from tumbling into muck and briar and wire.
With him we watch television programmes where real-life cops do difficult real-life jobs. Charlie and I debate seriously how we would handle those chavs with firm good humour until challenged.
“We would keep the streets clean,” I say.
My brother laughs.
"It's not the police that save your life," he says. "Never the police."
I bite my cheek as Charlie's face becomes red and he gulps my brother's words. Charlie does not usually drink in our house.
Charlie thinks my brother is not so bad. He is wrong.
Later in the order of our bedroom, Charlie's body, empowered, crashes into me in bed, somehow smelling of my brother.