Thirty-four Years With My Sister

10155454_10202666298192896_3992277147671302153_n1. I didn’t know I was alone because I didn’t know.

2. My sister could walk, and we got going.  (Pictured: my sister enjoying my swag from my brief hospital stay from which I emerged without my appendix.)

3. My sister and I made mud pies under the tulip tree, next to the air conditioner.

4. My sister and I played Old Maid with my aunt because our mom was busy having a baby and Dad was there, too.

5. My sister and I lay in our bunk beds while my dad read us Treasure Island.

6.My sister and her friend Matt collected night crawlers and put them into old jell-o mold tupperwares for observation and experimentation in our laboratory.

7.My sister and I sat at the kitchen table and Mom and Dad told us they were getting divorced and we knew Dad would not make us pancakes on Saturdays anymore because we would be at Mom’s on Saturday morning and Dad’s from Saturday night to Tuesday night for the next long, long time.

8. My sister and I put on a production of “The Nutcracker” in our living room; she was Clara because she always got to be the girl, and I was the Nutcracker.

9. My sister and I wore purple dresses and sneaked Andes mints off the dessert table at our dad’s wedding reception.

10. My sister and I took turns carrying our little brother around, and dressing him, and changing him, and teaching him songs, and reading him books, particularly the Dogie Book, but other books, as well.

11. My sister walked up from the elementary school to meet me at the middle school, hung out in the library with the librarian who is still a fond family friend, and we walked home together, really only three or four blocks but it seemed further and we rarely had money to buy candy at the grocery store on the way.

12.  My sister and I endured our father’s idea of a “small hike,” carrying backpacks about as heavy as we were, six miles out and six miles back.

13.My sister and I did more than thirty takes of a particular scene of one of our films produced by our studio, PMUB, because someone couldn’t stop laughing, in fairness it was not always her.

14. My sister and I were in school together again, high school this time, and I wrote a secret ceremony for initiating her to high school although we never performed it.

15. I moved to New York for college, but happened to be back to see my sister in a production of “Frankenstein” at our high school–  odd because I was back for a funeral.

16. I moved back from New York and my sister and the house was too small for the both of us.

17. My sister was a senior in high school and I was as people are rather unable to help her make this transition.

18. My sister moved to California wearing a beautiful white cotton vintage dress.I visited my sister in California twice in one year, went to Disneyland twice in one year, learned how to stop an earthquake by snapping your fingers, and while in California decided to dye my hair blonde because I had just realized it wasn’t blonde anymore, and we both would dye our hair blonde from then on.

19. My sister moved back from California and we started going out dancing together, a ritual we would continue from then on, more or less often, but always enthusiastically, particularly to “Billie Jean.”

20. We continued to go dancing scantily clad and mostly resist the attentions of men.

21. There was still some dancing here although my clothes were becoming very, very slightly less revealing.

22. My sister and I nervously discussed what was wrong with everyone else in the family and how they ought to be fixed.

23. My sister and I founded the Tag Institute, dedicated to the free and open playing of weekly tag games by all people, resulting in a small amount of national publicity.

24. My sister and I attended the first annual Arch-Enemy Day celebration which was held in her apartment overlooking the Plaza.

25.My sister and I yelled at each other about something, no doubt, and it’s likely I was a complete jackass about it because I couldn’t help but bait her and sneer.

26.My sister and I went to Montana for a wedding and stayed in a cabin without a phone and attended a wedding shower that did not offer dinner as advertised so we starved until we could enjoy a McDonald’s breakfast more than anyone should and also we wore long underwear under our bridesmaids dresses.

27.I confronted someone on my sister’s behalf and told him to go fuck himself, but not in those exact words he got the idea anyway and I felt good about it.

28.My sister and I enjoyed our parents making peace and enjoying each other’s company a lot, something we had almost but not quite forgotten how nice it was.

29.I was in the middle of having a nervous breakdown but took time out to build a snowman with my sister when we got snowed in after Christmas.

30. My sister and I danced at the family wedding in which the dance floor actually moved about a foot in one direction due to the enthusiasm of the dancing.

31.My sister and I along with two of our other siblings somehow squeezed into one tiny row of the train at Silver Dollar City during Christmastime resulting in some residual bruising.

32. My sister and I went to Disneyland again and as usual nearly died due to being in the park for fifteen hours straight and endured great stomachaches and sore faces from smiling and laughing.

33. My sister and I shared our nieces and nephew in Montana, telling them wonderful lies and offering them distractions and firm nos and delight at everything they said.

34. I moved to New York again and was far from my sister and it sucked but at least we got to go to Disney World again and be scared together riding the scariest roller coaster we could stand.

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