My brother told my friends that I lived in a closet. No lie. He was, at 17, already a great cartoonist, and he drew a picture of me with the heading, “MOLE HOLE” and taped it onto my bedroom door. Later, he thought better of it, and moved it to the hall closet door. Oh, my friends thought it was a riot!
He once tried to trade me a silver dollar for a plush bunny I’d received for Easter. No dice! I wouldn’t have given it to him for all the tea in Chinatown. I wanted that dollar, but no way was I negotiating with my arch-nemesis.
I got back at him, though. He had a little record player in his room, and although I wasn’t technically allowed to play in his room, I would. Sneak that I was. I turned on that record player and gave Barbie the ride of her life. Grew bored, left it going. Brother came home from high school with friends, had to explain Thrill Ride Barbie. Snort.
He was a pen-and-ink artist. I was fascinated by those little black bottles of India ink. So fascinated that I once dumped one on his bed. Oops. But he delighted in telling everyone that I was in love with Bobby Sherman or David Cassidy or whomever was my current heartthrob. So I wrote on his car. With paste.
Today, we are the best of friends and hardly ever embarrass each other. I think the teasing, razzing and pranks actually brought us closer somehow. Still, I do bring along a jar of paste when I visit him, just in case. You never know.