Another Afternoon at 3:30pm

We are fighting as usual. About what is hard to say.  What do siblings actually fight about?  It could be something as silly as one of us taking the last Fig Newton or borrowing an item from the other’s room and not returning  it.  Or perhaps it is that it’s easy for my big brother to detest me just for being his little sister, pig tails, red leotard, running around the house, torturing him with my 7 year old-ness.

As usual, he throws me on the bed, my bed, where I tumble and roll, my red leotard a momentary flash in the air. Then, tickles me, punches me, lightly enough that it still hints of a game but hard enough so that I  yelp “Stop!”  “Stop!”  This is the daily 3-5pm after school routine:   Games of Battleship and Stratego dissolve into full out chases around the house, me the pursued screaming wildly while whizzing around living room corners into the dining room, dodging wooden African statues, silver candlesticks, and leaping over the piano bench to escape.

We wrestle on the bed with him pushing and pushing me until I somehow slide down into the space between bed and wall and become lodged in a spot on the floor. He peers over the side of the bed to capture a glimpse of my position and I glance up at him, my eyes pleading for a truce and doused with adrenaline from the pursuit. There is a pause as I see the idea seizing him. His face disappears and  I hear him hop off the bed and suddenly feel pressure on my side as  he begins shoving the bed against the wall, squeezing my body into an already tight space like bat man and wonder woman with the walls caving in on them. He pauses for a moment and climbs atop the bed to take a look at my face gnarled up and crying.  I stop when I see  him, sniffling, mouth turned downwards, whimpering.  He smiles and I can see another idea forming.

 “Mary,” he giggles, this looks really funny!  I’m going to go get my camera and take a picture.  I’ll be right back.”  The 7 year old actress  in  me immediately perks up, the tormenting forgotten and replaced with dramatic opportunity.  “Ok!” I agree.  It sounds fun.  So I wait there, preparing to simulate the event again for the camera and when he returns, I scrunch up my face, produce tears, start my best Hollywood wail and he captures it, takes a snap shot. And then walks off.  Game over. We both seem pleased with the moment that has just been captured and I start imagining what the photo might look like.  I slide out from the bed, one pig tail loose, red leotard covered with dust from the floor, and we continue with our afternoon – I to my paper dolls, he to his soldier figurines and life goes on.  


  1. Yeah, I'm with Anne -- where's the pic?!
    (funny story nonetheless)

  2. You are both so right! I need to scan it. I believe it is in an album back in NYC at my parent's apartment, but it is pretty darn funny.