The first time I made my imaginary brother, it was an electrifying experience. My real older brother Mike is profoundly low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. He has never acknowledged my presence in any way meaningful to me (although I admit that he may have, but I did not understand). I have spent many hours examining the past, through memory, journal entries, family photographs and my own photos, trying to see if I missed any communications from him.
My younger brother and me
Dad took the photo below. We were all visiting Mike at Willowbrook and he snapped this double portrait of Dave and me, on the steps leading up to Mike’s building.
Imaginary Brother and Me
I used the picture below (a cropped version of which I posted yesterday) to extract Mike’s face.
Just as I made Mike look at me by doubling his attentive eye (The Autist and Me), I superimposed Mike’s face on the double portrait of Dave and me to force him to hug me.
I don’t know why I never thought of this before. It is such a simple idea and yet so meaningful to me.