You and I were sitting in the back. We were debating. We didn’t realize it at the time that others called it arguing. Our father called it arguing. It’s unfortunate because I believe they were of the best debates. I wish they weren’t cut short. While riding in the backseat I would click the ashtray open and closed. Our father told us, ‘You can only open that a certain amount of times. It will break. You will be at fault for breaking it.” I brushed his words off and watched you talk. You are my big brother. I can’t always keep up with your thinking, but I try. I don’t agree with you on the dirt, but who cares. If it’s baseball, or dirt, we need to destroy the backseat of our fathers vehicle to understand. I now find myself looking for debates of any kind. Men and women seem to shrink from individual thought. I recall reading a paragraph in the book Travels with Charlie where Steinbeck is upset with his fellow country-men for not having opinions. I now think to myself, ‘Why the hell do people complain when we do?’ I know this- My brother helped to sharpen my mind. To this day I can call him and debate over football, the crisis in West Africa, how children are being educated, Heaven, why many people forget to see themselves, life. He’ll continue on with a passion most can’t keep up with. He’ll leave me wondering, ‘How did I?’ Chris continues to sharpen my mind. We shared the same bedroom. He created worlds with words as bedtime stories. He’s shared this gift with many. His children don’t yet realize- they’ve won the envy.
At times, for me, observation is better than the activity. -M. Taggart.
It’s finally here. October, with it’s crisp nights, crunching leaves under foot and the smell of the Earth closing in around itself. I love October, it’s my favorite month of the year. I’ll surely find myself walking among the tress after sundown.
Keep an eye out for my family-friendly short Halloween story. I”ll have it finished and ready to post on here soon. The story is set in the hills of the Northeast Berkshires, where I spent my childhood. In the hills, a prep schools holds its domain. Within the school grounds sits an old haunted Church.
Goose shit was everywhere. When looking down, at your feet, you saw shit. If you looked to your left, shit. Right, shit. Alright, that’s complete exaggeration and a lie, but, now we all know I’m talking about a lot of shit. The rest of this story is true.
We were at our parents’ friend’s home; it was a farm. Fences; wooden fences with lots of barbed wire to keep animals tucked inside the property. We kids, liked to play next to the large oak tree with the tire swing.
I was six. My brother was eight and a half. The tire swing was wide open and we weren’t about to let the opportunity slide on by. Our parents were inside, doing things, and laughing far too loud for the jokes that were being shared. Our parents’ friends had two girls. Both were near our age.
The oak tree wasn’t far from the house. Sitting on top of a small hill, overlooking the property, there it hung. The swing of all tires swings.
The one small issue, between us and the tire swing, was the geese.
I know we all see them flying South, or North, apparently never being able to make up their minds; proving they’re not consistent within the walls of their own skulls.
Anyways, to the swing we mother-fucking-go!
My brother and I charge the hill. Well, we didn’t exactly charge it, I certainly didn’t. He may have. He was much bigger. It’s possible that in my head, I charged the fuck out of that hill, but in all honesty, I probably waddled a bit and barely make it to the tire swing. Walking in goose shit.
Which, made me easy prey, for the asshole Geese.
They watched, with dick head eyes, and we took notice, but not to a great degree. My brother was nice enough to let me jump on the swing first. I was in tire swing heaven. I’d like to say he even pushed me, but that, I don’t remember.
So there I was, swinging, things are great. Ice cream great. I can see the house, down below, and the fences that line the property. I can see horses and a few sheep. I’m not sure how my parents know these people, but I don’t care because I’m on a tire swing and I’m a six year old.
My brother said it was his turn, so I jumped off, slid a bit, and came to a stop. I turn to look back at him and I see an asshole running at me. I don’t wait to see how fast it might catch me, I turn and run. I’m running, with everything I’ve got, which was a far cry better than my charge up the hill, but it wasn’t enough. I know a monster bird is behind me, I can hear it, I can even smell it. I slip, fall, and slide in goose shit. Probably from this very bird. It’s laughing at me. No, not really, I’m not sure if birds can laugh.
The large man of prey is nearly upon me, it’s biting and flicking it’s wings. No joke, I get bit. The asshole nipped me and I slid further down the shit hill. My jeans are a waste. Even at six I realize I should probably not continue wearing these. My face was now sliding down the hill, I was tasting it. It wasn’t good.
My face looked like that of a war-time Marine. As though I had meant this to have happened.
I was bit again and now the large bird was tearing into me, stabbing at me with it’s beak. I cried out.
I saw my big brother snap that asshole by its long neck, wringing the beast slightly, and tossing it out and away from me. The bird let lose a vocal note that’s not always witnessed coming from a goose and then I watched my brother chase it, further, away from me.
He saved me. I wasn’t the last time.
Yes, I had to go inside and cry-explain myself to my laughing parents and yes I had to take off my shit jeans and replace them with girl jeans. Yes. That all happened. To this day I’m still ashamed to tell people that I wore girl jeans. It just wasn’t right. But, my brother saving me was.
True occurrence- my childhood. Thank you Big Brother.