Fraternity

21 04 2007

So, maybe I’m a bit tipsy. Maybe. But not as tipsy as the nabla I just sent off across the bridge in the direction of his beautiful love. Sorry, K. For the record, I didn’t think the box of wine was a great idea. Well, actually, I did. The bottle-shop guy didn’t. But who cares what he thinks, right? Stupid bottle shop guy. Pfft. What does he know? Between the change in my pocket and the change in his we had enough. Whatever.

My parents tell a funny story. When they had two small babies, they had a three bedroom house. A room for each of us. But somehow my brother and I ended up in the same room anyway. And, conveniently, when I cried, he would be there before they were, stopping me crying. “Shhhh”, he’d say, “loud,” all eighteen months of wisdom. And I’d shhh. True story. And he decided to dismantle the cot one day, at two years of age, setting us free, putting the wooden pieces in a neat pile on the floor, leaving my parents to wonder at two grinning wandering babies and the need for a leash. I was innocent, of course, him the bad influence. Of course.

Then, when I was two, and they kicked me out of the car on Fraser Island for not wearing my seatbelt, nabla cried like (the little baby he was) a little baby until they came back to get me, “who am I going to play with now?” (meanwhile I’d made myself at home at some stranger’s camp, much to their surprise, “Marge, there’s a random two year old at the campfire!”). Not that I ever argued about wearing my seatbelt again.

In school, right through, people would ask me, “are you nabla’s sister?”, based on some resemblance of cheekbones or surnames or something, and I would say, “Who?” and he would say, “Who?” and we’d studiously ignore each other and get off at different bus stops (no mean feat when the bus stops were kilometres apart) to seem unrelated.

One day I moved to a northish city to be closer to him and we sat on wooden seats at a pub discussing the world and how to fix it, and we talked of warm air and rain and politics and love and haircuts and the world, and we made friends with the people around us and the pub owner and waxed lyrical about culture and mixed race and bought a box of wine that we drank in a dimly lit loungeroom and listened to Nick Cave and he showed me where to put my fingers on the guitar he gave me, and I thought, Yes, this is why I came here, this is part of it, this is my life, and was happy.

And then I drank a lot of water and took some paracetamol, because I know how this story ends, and it’s not always pretty.

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5 responses

23 04 2007
MadameBoffin

Your parents dumped you at age 2 just because you wouldn’t wear your seatbelt? They actually left you behind??

23 04 2007
Saturday Night Fiver

My brother and I fight like rose and thistle. There are scars over each of my eyebrows, one placed there a decade after the other, both made by hefty stone projectiles launched with deadly accuracy by my ever loving bro (the first when he was only three years old). Polar opposites; and yet the knowledge that he’d be all to likely to steal the gold fillings out of the mouth of a dying grandmother only serves to bring his inherent goodness into sharper relief.

23 04 2007
Sherd

Boff, they certainly did. They believe very strongly in teaching your children that all actions have consequences, and letting them choose the consequence by choosing their action. No matter if they are two or twenty. My options were: wear the seatbelt and stay in the car, or not wear the seatbelt and get out of the car. So I got out of the car. And they drove off over the hill. Then they came back to get me about 5 minutes later, at which point I got back in the car, put on my seatbelt, and didn’t speak to my parents for several days. Of course, this was 25 years ago. Things were a bit different then. SNF: We could probably swap stories and scars for hours (left knee, pushed onto a sharp rock, age: 5. Right index finger, severed nerve, age: 14…etc)… I know exactly what you mean. Brothers. Can’t live with ’em, your parents won’t let you kill ’em… and sometimes they buy you pizza when you’re grumpy just to cheer you up.

24 04 2007
Nabla

…and they let you think you’re smarter than them so you don’t feel too bad about being born a girl (coulda been Reuben):)

24 04 2007
mangoman

re Seatbelts and 2 year olds. Start as you mean to continue I say.

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