- A trailer somewhere in Florida. We were outside, playing on the front step, trying to catch lizards as they hurried by. Finally, my father, plastic cup in hand, captured one for us. My sister picked up the cup, slowly, and peered at the lizard hidden beneath it. It was scared, too scared to contemplate escape. My sister, oblivious to the creature’s terror, slowly took hold of its tail and lifted it closer to her face for further inspection. She sat there, staring at it, for several seconds. And then the lizard dropped its tail and made its escape. Still holding the discarded tail, and screaming at the top of her lungs, my sister learned that there are better places to hold a lizard than by the tail.

- In the middle of the night, on a hill that overlooked the entire city. We had diet Pepsi and fireworks. Several cars were parked behind us, filled with lovers and stoners, as we celebrated our country. We shook the pop cans and then opened them, releasing a sticky deluge upon us. The flashing blue and red lights alerted us to the presence of a patrol car. A uniform-clad officer slowly stepped out; his face gave no indication as to what his intentions were. Was it illegal to set off fireworks, unauthorized, on public property? Probably, but the officer only wanted to know if alcohol had been thrown into the mix. We assured him it had not, and, with a smile, he got back into his car and drove off into the night. We all burst into laughter, and then continuing on with our pyrotechnic display.

- On a bed, in a dark room, I laid and watched him. I'd always thought it slightly creepy to watch someone as they slept, but I was beginning to understand the appeal. He looked so innocent, his face relaxed in slumber. I took my finger and ran it slowly over the hair of his eyebrow. I remember thinking that I would be very sad when this all ended.

- Panic. I ran across the dam, frantically looking over each side. I saw him there, twenty feet below, sitting in a puddle. He was crying, but looked to be unhurt. It took me seconds to get to him. "Are you okay?" I asked, as I ran my hands over his head, arms and legs, checking for damage. I couldn't understand his response through his hitching sobs. I scooped him up into my arms and carried him back up the hill to my grandparents' waiting van. My grandfather looked helpless. He'd been too slow and too stiff to make it down the hill before I did. "He is okay." I told him, as I loaded my brother into the van.
Later on, we would laugh about this.

1 comment:

Imogen said...

I love these- especially the one about your brother. My little brother uses falling out of his high chair and landing on his head as an excuse for pretty much everything- but I think your brother has the best one.
Does he appreciate exactly how brilliant a get out clause it is?