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My Brother, My Nightmare

by Anthony

I owe most of my worst moments as a child to my brother. We love each other dearly now, and talk all the time, but back when he was two grades ahead of me in school, he could be a holy terror.

I probably owe him for helping me to toughen up over the years, but much of what he did can only be classified as cruel and unusual. Two and a half years is a big gap when you’re little, and he made the most of the age difference.

One of my most vivid memories is our version of “baseball,” played in our big backyard. He would always bat first. I would stand about fifteen feet away, pitch to him underhand, and he would hit everything clear across the yard before trotting around the bases. Since I was pitcher and every member of the defense at once, and because I had to get him out three times before I could bat, I think I actually got to hit about three times between ages six and ten.

Worse than that, though, were the times when he was simply bored and looking for someone to terrorize. His favorite game during those times was “Good Night,” which consisted of coming up to me while I was lying on the floor watching TV, lying down on top of me, and saying “good night.” I guess the fun part was my desperate attempts to writhe out from under his crushing weight. As bad as I had it, my G.I. Joe figures had it worse.

His deviousness knew no ends when it came to bizarre maltreatment of my favorite toys. I would find them frozen in bowls of water in the freezer, coated in Vaseline and wrapped in tissues (they never came clean after that), or completely submerged in a glass of ketchup.

He had a special genius for tormenting me in exactly the ways that would get the biggest rise. I love him to death now, but every now and then, when I think of those days, I still get the urge to submerge his wallet in a glass of ketchup.

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