[...] It was the 1970s and no charges were pressed, boys being boys. That night, my father beat my brother mercilessly with a washing machine hose in the dank basement of our house. The chaos of a violence like that is astonishing. The cacophonous screaming. The inability of anyone to stop it. The cold pallor that hangs in the air afterward. A chasm emerged between us—me, floating off like some wandering balloon; my brother tethered tightly to a familiar story of trouble and poverty, like most of the kids in our neighborhood.