Fraternitas (Brotherhood)

In the film “Memento” by Christopher Nolan, the main character Leonard Shelby can’t make new long-term memories. He tattoos important clues about his wife’s murderer on his body. In one scene, Shelby removes his shirt, revealing tattoos on his arms and chest.

I am one of five brothers in my family. The three oldest of us, the wolf pack, were inseparable for years. We were the Bundy brothers.

Once, we roamed our church together. Our church had several thousand members, and its building was massive. We walked a circuit in the maze-like church, side by side.

My older brother walked in the middle with us flanking him, and together, we sliced through the crowds of churchgoers like a broadhead arrow.

“Come on, don’t walk behind me,” he said. His voice was tight. I knew he was annoyed, but I didn’t know why at the time.

Year later, he got a tattoo down his left side that says “fraternitas,” the Latin word for brotherhood. I think he gets tattoos for the same reason as Leonard Shelby: to remember what’s important.

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2 Comments

  1. “My older brother walked in the middle with us flanking him, and together, we sliced through the crowds of churchgoers like a broadhead arrow.” this paints a very vivid image.

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