Monday, June 28, 2004


I have one brother; he's five years younger. Boyfriend and I are making plans to relocate to the mainland next year and the plan is to move somewhere near my brother and his family. So my brother has been on my mind quite a lot lately. He's a very unique individual and certainly one of the funniest people I know. But, man, he was a little shit when we were kids. Sometimes I really hated him. I know, I know, you're probably thinking: you didn't hate him, maybe you guys just fought a lot. No, sometimes I really hated him.

My brother can't stand to be told what to do. HATES IT. So you can imagine the two strikes that were already against me when my parents (both of whom worked) would leave me in charge and expect me to keep an eye on him. "Yeah," I'd think, "easy for you to say." I was expected to keep tabs on him after school and provide them with at least a vague idea as to the general vicinity where he might be found playing with his friends (and hopefully not getting into any major trouble).

But if I tried to tell him to do something? Look out! He once threw a set of coasters across the living room at me, screaming at the top of his lungs, "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" He also used to like to chase me down the street with various items. He chased me with a butcher knife, a golf club, a baseball bat and a dead garter snake. (Thankfully not all at once.) I'm not very fast...unless there's a snake involved.

And the torture didn't abate once we got older. When I was in high school, and he was at that most devilish middle school age, there was one afternoon when he and his buddy decided to unscrew all of the light bulbs in the living room, attach a long string to the inside doorknob on the front door and hide behind the couch. We lived in a small town and in those days most people didn't bother to lock their front doors. I arrived home after dark with my best friend Colleen in tow. The house was pitch dark. Our parents were divorced by that time and we lived with our Dad. It wasn't unusual given our schedules for the three of us to be coming and going at different times, so I didn't think twice about the darkened house--just figured that my Dad wasn't home yet and my brother was probably at our grandmother's house.

I walked up the front steps, put my hand on the door handle and as I started to depress it, the door seemed to open almost by itself. I flipped the light switch next to the front door. Nothing. There was a pole lamp (remember those?) a few feet from the front door, so I walked over to it (it was illuminated faintly by the streetlight) and reached up to turn it on. Click. Click. Nothing. The closet door was right next to the front door. I began to panic that maybe there was an intruder hiding in the closet. After all, I was the same girl who believed for years that Lee Harvey Oswald's ghost lived in my Dad's bedroom closet, so an intruder in the coat closet wasn't a big leap for me. I started calling my brother's name, wanting to make sure he was okay if he was home (since technically I was always supposed to be keeping an eye on him). "Marty? Marty?" and then more sheepishly as I began to really fear that a serial killer was about to leap from the closet at any moment: "Maaarrrty???" Then it dawned on me that if it was my brother playing a joke on me, I didn't want to give the little shit the satisfaction of scaring me, so I turned to Colleen (who was waiting on the porch) and suggested we take off and come back later. (Yeah, like when Dad was home and every light was on in the house.) Just then Marty and his buddy leaped from behind the couch where they'd been cowering with my panty hose over their pre-adolescent heads for extra effect.

To this day, my brother still laughs about it. "Maaarrrty???"

I'm very fond of my brother now that we're adults. But still. All I'm gonna say is: I still haven't paid him back for that one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, you're moving back to the mainland? Really? Sigh-- I will have to squeeze in all my living through you vicariously for the next 12 months then. And your bro? Wow-- good thing you were always one step ahead-- I look forward to reading about how you DO pay him back one day.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous MSB said...

I don't know how I managed to avoid this type of behavior from my younger brother who is the same age as your brother -- must have been Marty's unique personality!

10:25 PM  

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