Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crackers and Juice

When I was a kid, I shared a room with both of my brothers.
My older brother was a bossy Betty, and his bed was parallel to mine on the other side of the room.  Between us was our coveted record player that sat in the middle of our big dresser. Before going to sleep each night, we listened to records, each getting to choose a song or two.  My little brother got to listen to whatever we picked, having no role in the voting process.
One of our records was "The Wizard of Oz" which my brother knew that I hated.  It was therefore his most common pick.  The Wicked Witch's voice freaked me out, and having seen the movie, the accompanying  visuals didn't help.  It gave me nightmares and I begged him to pick something else, only causing him to choose Oz all the more often.
There was only one album that he hated, but unfortunately, so did I.  It was this campy, goofy-ass circus record that my uncle had bought us.  A song sung by a clown, about a clown, is not a pleasant experience... yet, I had to pretend that it was, if I had any hope to get back at my brother.  We suffered in unison, as my little brother sang along with the clown.  Looking back, I now wonder if my older brother secretly enjoyed it as well, and if he was able to somehow discern that I did not, bolstering his own mirth .
My little brother just listened happily to anything we played, oblivious to the pain and suffering.  His bed sat perpendicular to mine, at the foot of my bed.  A gap between our beds, which was less than a foot wide, became known as "The Crack".  I threatened him often that I was going to throw him into the crack, occasionally following up on my promise, in order to keep our brotherly pecking order intact.  A few of our games involved jumping over the crack which had inexplicably filled with lava and/or sharks.  The Crack was also known to be a dangerous place to fall into if, like my little brother, you were a laugher. Once the laughter began, it was difficult, near impossible, to extract oneself from The Crack.

One day, while having lunch, my little brother really wanted some of this Cherry Juice that my cousin was drinking.  My dad said that he had to drink his own juice (which was probably water) and that left him sad and pouting.  That night, he woke up in bed, sat up and yelled out "I want my cherry juice!"  My older brother and I both bolted upright and looked at the pathetic kid, as he began to cry. Snot ran from his nose and his mouth stayed open as he emitted a long moan.
I grabbed the glass of water, which I kept on the dresser next to the record player, and I went over and gave it to him, saying "here's your cherry juice... here it is".  His eyes were open, but as he took the glass from me, I could tell that he was still asleep.
He drank it all, handed me back the glass, then laid back down with a smile on his face.

There were nights when he fell out of his bed into The Crack, waking me up. He'd sometimes need help getting back into bed, so I'd pick him up and tuck him in, hoping his covers would hold him tight. One night, he fell in without waking me and he actually stayed there until morning... sleeping in The Crack, dreaming of cherry juice.


Cul-de-sac-ed said...

Ohhh lava and/or shark infested floors are the WORST! Hopefully your little brother still avoids crack. I hear it's wack.

Keep on posting brotha!

annie said...

Giggled my way through this piece. Took me back to the days... I shared a room with my sister-- the record player on a small table between us. HAPPY times, GREAT memories!I'm gonna give her a call now.