Today is my little brother Brad’s birthday. Even thought it seems like he was actually born bigger than me it was only yesterday when I was torturing him at home and in the backseat of mom & dad’s car. We would sit together in the back on trips and we would each have our ‘zone’ with a dmz clearly marked between us by seams in the cloth or vinyl seat. I would launch an unprovoked sneak attack and then yell bloody murder when he retaliated and I made sure mom caught him with his arm clearly across the dmz. The torture didn’t stop there.
Once, he and I were at a neighbour’s together visiting his friend, Kevin. They had just taken carpet out of one room of the house to replace it with something new. We came up with the Harry Houdini game. We rolled up his friend in the carpet so that only his head stuck out of the roll. Then we told him we were going to leave him stuck there and go find the neighbourhood Collie to come pee on his uncovered head. (I’m sure this was my idea and not Brad’s.) After he screamed, cried and possibly wet himself, we came back from around the corner of the house. Somehow I managed to talk Brad into trying it. “I won’t leave you, I promise…” Once we had him rolled up, Kevin was only too happy to walk off with me and leave him squirming. After we came back I had to prove my toughness and let them roll me up. I threatened Brad with terrible, frightening, things if he left me there.
He left me there.
I screamed words I’d only read in Playboy. I threatened. I pleaded. I cried. I begged. Nothing. To this day I think they walked around the corner like we had before but this time they were distracted by something and walked further and started playing and completely forgot me. At least that’s what I told my therapist. Finally, Brad reappeared and unrolled me, freeing me from the carpet cocoon. To this day I have paralyzing claustrophobia and I prefer wood floors to carpet. I was too traumatized to get revenge and I’ve respected my handsome, clever, little brother ever since.
I love my brother. He got all the sensitive genes. And even though he’s always been my parent’s favourite, we’ve had some great times together, once I finally started growing up. His generosity is immense and he and his wife Jenn make a perfect couple and perfect uncle and aunt to my kidlings.
Happy Birthday Brad!