Silly woman. You were in it for the long haul from the moment you uttered “I love you.” It’s about time you just roll with it. Especially since it’s been oh, so good to you.
Chocolate milk sounds good right about now.
Bizarre flashbacks all day.
During my American Politics class, I was having a ridiculous amount of trouble focusing on the final review. I kept zoning out, as I am wont to do.
I found myself thinking about my grandma. When I was 4 or 5, she tried to teach me that boys and girls were different, and that even at my age they shouldn’t mix.
Well, I tried to comply for a good long while. I would stand at the window by the dining table and watch my little brother wrestle with the other boys his age, Ryan and Rodrigo. They would be rolling around the front yard or playing basketball, while I was relegated to the fabulous faux-fashion world of Barbie. As if she was ever a good role model. Eventually I convinced my dad to buy me puzzles and Lego sets, both of which did so much for my sanity. I was a giant egghead of a little girl trapped in frilly pink dresses that itched terribly whenever I tried to move. It only became more acceptable for me to play outside with the boys when I started hanging out with another little girl who had just moved into the neighborhood, Laura. Again, it seems the heavens chose to award me with a companion who was not your stereotypical little girl. Laura never wore skirts and was pretty damn good at softball. I was sold. I will likely never tell her this, but I am indebted to her. She was a great person to have as a cohort. Still is, even though we rarely see each other.
So, there goes one flashback.
The second occurred while I was trying to scribble something in my journal before my Medieval Philosophy class. Well, I actually mentioned this to David yesterday, but it hit me again today.
I was lounging in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, feet propped up on the little table I stole, mindlessly tapping my temple with my amazing blue-black ink gel pen, when I remembered my time on the yearbook staff at Carnegie Middle School.
Specifically, I recalled sitting on a rickety stool to Mr. Hino’s left, cursing under my breath at an ancient Apple computer. What was aggravating my 13-year-old self so much? Well, I was editing copy. Yes, I was editing copy at 13. Foreshadowing, much? We were in the final stages of getting the yearbook out. We had chosen the cover, polled the graduating class for a slogan, and designed all of the pages; all that was left was to go through the entire book, correcting misspelled names and words. Somehow the task of editing the “shout-out” pages had fallen to me, so I was busy scrolling through hundreds of lines of crap.
“Dis is a shot-out to mah baby gurl: u knoe i luv u wif all mah heart. To da boyz, wherevah i end up, all yall r da homiez.”
Goddamn. That was painful to write. However, that is exactly what I was staring at with so much hatred. I wanted to rewrite the entire section, but I didn’t have the license to do so.
Good times in that drafty old draft room. Donna, Cheryl, Maritza and myself used to pretend we were Russian spies during class. I can’t remember anyone else’s name, but my alias was Janine. Not very creative, I know. Walking around and speaking to people with our cheesy Russian accents was amazing though.
To add to my nostalgia, my brother called me while I was sprawled out in the student center, staring blankly at the CNN report on the giant TV screen in front of me. He wanted to bug me about when I was coming home.
Jokingly, I said, “Why are you asking me? Do you missssssssssssssssss me?”
To my surprise, he answered in the affirmative. “Yeah, I do. So when are you coming home already?”
I don’t know why he had to add that “already” there. Although, I stopped correcting his grammar years ago when I realized it was such a lost cause. Perhaps I should blame myself here.
We proceeded to chat for a good eight minutes. We expressed our disbelief that our mother is actually in the Philippines right now, when she constantly tells us she has no money to spare. He gave me updates on the rest of the family. I bugged him about school, because as his big sister and the only other mother-figure in his life besides my grandma, it’s something I feel I have to do.
I may be making him out to be younger than he is; after all, legally he is a man now. A 20-year-old schmuck of a man. But I am being unnecessarily cruel. He is a good kid trying to figure out what he wants from Life. I wonder when he’ll realize that some people end up doing that for their entire lives.
Now I am making myself sound exceedingly ancient. Hum.
Nathan may be visiting me here in the Bay area next month. He might attend a Kanye West concert up here. Why he and his friends want to come up here, when West just had a show in LA, is beyond me. But eh. I don’t mind so much. My brother needs to leave the South Bay more often. Vegas and the OC hardly count as real excursions.
My brother has always been the more charismatic one between us, but I somehow developed an extremely adventurous, and some might say restless, streak. Ah, well. Our similarities are more important to me.
Like how we both squeal whenever we die horribly in whatever game we’re playing. Or how we both sometimes prefer to sit in front of a TV or computer for hours and hours instead of going out.
Or how we both seem to take great joy in making fun of my cousin. Or how we both handle our emotions; we take care of everyone else first.
Yep, I love my brother. Even if he is one of the most infuriating people in my life right now. I’m sure he’ll remain so for the rest of our natural lives.
I want to return to the days when we’d play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When Nathan wouldn’t let anyone else be Leonardo, and I would always end up Donatello because I’m “smart,” even though I preferred Raphael.
I want to go back to playing Power Rangers in the backyard, hopping fences and battling Putties and Rita. My brother always had to be the leader, the Red Ranger, and I chose the Pink Ranger because even at a young age I thought there was something wrong with the Asian chick being the Yellow Ranger.
All of those childhood games. Freeze-tag and flashlight-tag. Hide-and-seek. Softball on the yard of the uninhabited house on the corner. Basketball on the driveway, trying our damnedest to avoid air balls so we wouldn’t damage Ma’s flowers. Football in the front yard.
Hell, we even played badminton and volleyball, using the long hedge between our yard and Ryan’s as the net.
Gah. Good times.
We did actually attempt to bring those times back a couple of months ago. Ma had just passed away, and we were just standing in the driveway, shuffling our feet and staring at the ground. I noticed a tennis ball in the garage, and my brother saw an old bat. We hurriedly got into the middle of the street and I started pitching to him. Everything was going smoothly for a little while. Then my brother hit it into Rodrigo’s backyard. Turns out someone was actually doing yard work back there. And just as we did when we were little, we both sprinted into the garage to hide.
So, we lost a tennis ball. But goddamn, it felt good to laugh that much again.