Tuesday, February 05, 2008

here's a thing...

Like most brothers who are close in age, when we were young Flip and I occasionally punched each other. Okay, frequently. Mostly I suspect I bullied him a bit since I was older. I don’t mean that I was cruel, just that I tried to boss him around*. By the time he was 15 he was bigger than me, but happily for me, by then he had matured beyond the need for petty revenge.
*(When he was 3-4 yrs old and I was 5-6, we played cowboys. For myself, I chose the coolest, baddest name I could think of: “Shoot-Lion”; I made him be the side-kick “Johnny”.)

But anyway, this post is supposed to be about another thing that happened when I was about 8 yrs old, while we were awaiting the arrival of our little sister: I had a nightmare.

I dreamed that in order to make room for a new child in the family, there was a rule that one of the existing children had to die. For whatever reason (because I’m self-absorbed rather than self-sacrificing?), in my dream Flip was the one.

White-coated doctors led my 6-yr-old brother into a room and closed the door. After a while, they came out, carrying buckets containing a heart and lungs and things. That’s horrible enough in itself, but the worst part was the finality of it – it seemed to represent that my little brother was completely, irretrievably gone.

It’s been 35 years since that dream, but I still remember the crushing grief and pain – I was crying when I woke up.

And with waking of course came the realization that it wasn’t real. I was weak with relief and happiness. In a gesture entirely unlike our usual interaction, I padded over to my little brother’s bed and hugged and kissed him while he slept.

After that day, we never fought again. Unless, say, we were in each other’s presence...

5 Comments:

At Tue Feb 05, 07:30:00 PM PST, Blogger jay are said...

Wow. What a horrible, terrible, awful dream!! And how graphic and detailed for such a young brain, genius though it might have been. I'M certainly glad it was a dream, I can tell you that! :) And how sweet of you to give him a lil hug and kiss...even if he wasn't aware. Save those for sleeping and the punches for awakeness lest he gets a big head and all.

 
At Tue Feb 05, 07:33:00 PM PST, Blogger si said...

oh, cute story! (have i ever commented this on your blog before?) well, at least the ending was cute. the dream itself was telling, i'd say -- you got it right about the self-absorbed thing... :-)

 
At Wed Feb 06, 08:36:00 AM PST, Blogger unca said...

Frightening but with a nice, sweet, happy ending.

 
At Wed Feb 06, 12:04:00 PM PST, Blogger anya said...

Ack! What an awful dream! Yeah, good ending.

 
At Fri Feb 08, 11:12:00 AM PST, Blogger blogball said...

I liked this story.
Thanks for posting it.

Maybe this is God’s way of making one appreciate his or her sibling without any real damage.

 

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