during my weekend trip home to the country, Cassifrass and i hung out for a little while with my brother and his girlfriend. when we arrived, they were drinking beer and swimming with some friends; these are good things, as they made it easier to cut the visit short once the smalltalk got boring.
as Cass and i sat talking to the ladies, my older brother and his friend engaged in what appeared to be a cannonball contest. with every splash of water that came in our direction, Cass's cringe became more bitter, and i couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous it was that two slightly under-the influence, 31-year-old men were having an awesome time together, just challenging one another to bigger and splashier jumps off the diving board.
as i sat with my legs hanging into the pool, content to enjoy the sunshine and the peaceful backyard, i couldn't help but note the many differences between me and my brother. we grew up together, but we never had much in common.
you see, i was never like that. ever. not even at the horseplayful age of ten did i engage in such antics -- let alone at 30. i remember that once i was old enough to do so, i preferred to swim alone so that i could pretend to be a mermaid and see how long i could sit on the bottom of the pool before surfacing. back then my brother and his neighborhoodlum friends were an annoyance during my imaginative, self-contained playtime.
my ma still likes to tell people that i was such a quiet child that she would have to come looking for me to make sure i was all right, and she'd find me in silence, writing or playing with Legos in my bedroom. not that i wasn't an active youth; i could spend hours jumping on our trampoline while listening to my walkman (when i got my first Ace of Base tape, i almost wore out that trampoline). did Ma wonder why i sat in my room reading and re-reading my favorite books, like "Ten Kids, No Pets" (i loved that book and read it so many times) while my brother and the other neighborhood boys built and raced bikes outside?
most likely, she always knew i was -- um -- different. this weekend's visit home reminded me that i still am. i guess i was born with it.
on an unrelated note, here's this photo:
note: this is not a photo of me or of anyone i know. i only wish i had that complexion.