Thursday, August 30, 2007

The End of the Niggler?

From the day I could talk and walk I was harassed by a brother we affectionately called the "niggler." For years he played the piano and had developed almost inhumane strength in his hands. In a second he could grab onto your leg and have you screaming in mercy. He locked me out of the house, beat me senseless, heckled me from the stands and could wind me into an absolute fit. He was in every sense of the word - the niggler.

As I grew up our relationship didn't change much. I got bigger so I could put up a decent fight for the remote, but mentally I still succumbed to his power. Unfortunately, these childish skirmishes turned into more serious confrontations, and then what used to be jokes turned into real splintering moments. I tried to promise myself every vacation I would work hard to be more patient and less sensitive. And then, something would happen, something would be said and the hard feelings would only increase. I have always regretted the relationship I have with my brother, and feared it would never change.

Yesterday it was his birthday. He's now 33 years old, has three kids and is almost finished becoming a full fledge doctor. For his birthday I decided to apologize for being my fair share of sensitive, insensitive and basically an ass. This morning I woke up and found this response:

Thanks again for your kind note. It was very well received. You have nothing to regret--afterall, you grew up with the niggler.

I guess we both are growing up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

On our way back from South Carolina, Dan and I stopped in Durham to walk around Duke. It was strange to reminisce about a place we both knew so well, and yet, didn't experience together. I must have passed the Law School a thousand times on my way to the field and never even thought about going inside. Dan remembers parking next to the lacrosse field everyday, and even being cussed out a few times by my pyscho coach for playing soccer on our blessed practice field. As my mom would say, "Oh the craziness of life."

The last stop of our tour took us to my old house on Buchanan Blvd. In 2000, I lived there with ten of my teammates and little Mexican girl who somehow ended up there. In the beginning it seemed like a great idea. It was an old Southern plantation style home, with a deck running around the first story and second. It held two kitchens, four bathrooms, 9 bedrooms and a huge gravel driveway. Across the road was campus, next door was the Men's Lacrosse house and on the other side was the Men's Soccer Team's house. Again, let me say it seemed like a good idea. However, as each day passed it began to smell more like a frat house, incite more drama than I can relate and ultimately caused the demise of my team that year.

I think the following would entail my fondest memories of this house:
1. When I pulled up to the house to move in three empty kegs sat on our porch and a random guy was passed out on our floor.
2. A squirrel came down one of our chimneys and was loose in our house.
3. Bird (on of my favorite teammates) decided we needed some rocking chairs for our downstairs deck. Consequently, she got drunk one night and stole ten rocking chairs from our neighbors, then sanded them down and repainted them.
4. Our heat stopped working before Christmas and we used to leave the oven on overnight.
5. When cops came to bust one of our parties and ended up spending the night with two of my teammates. (Yep, picture two cop cars in our driveway, cop uniform on the floor and a badge and gun on the nightstand)
6. Greg Patcheck decides to get even with Courtney my teammate for cheating on him by throwing a bench through our downstairs door.
7. Finn, my best friend, hitting a car full of Mexicans coming out of our pothole driveway - and when she tried to get their information they all jumped out of the running car and ran down the street yelling, "Illegal Alien, Illegal Alien!"
8. Hearing "One Million Dollars" from a lifesize Dr. Evil every time someone walked by its sensor.
9. Every bed being occupied except mine each weekend.
10. When school shut down with snow, Margaritas were immediately made and a mattress was hooked up to a truck for a ride around town.
11. Sunbathing in underwear on the second story and waving to honking cars.
12. A Dark stain of apple on the wall after a drunk fight turned into a fruit throwing confrontation.
13. My hitting of a car of Mexicans.
14. Getting deathly sick due to stress, no heat and unsanitary conditions...and taking my finals the following semester.
15. Calling the cops on our own house to get everyone to go home.
16. When a homeless man stole all our cleats and sticks off our porch. (probably karma for the rocking chairs)
17. Finn's closet of a room that could only fit a bed on stilts and a desk underneath.
18. Waking up to a guy urinating on our kitchen floor.
19. A teammate, who I thought was normal, speaking in third person with her boyfriend and he responding in the third person. (Keri is hungry...Mikey hungry too.)
20. Moving out and hiding out for the summer in my own personal rehab.

As you can see by the picture the house is barely still standing. Apparently, Satan reclaimed the house through a small fire. Rest in peace Buchanan.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Walk down Memory Lane

Lately I've been transferring old home videos into DVDs. It's been interesting looking back through a small window of the past and almost seeing where present insecurities began. I am a twin to a girl. A girl who was a girl from the very beginning. It was dresses, barbies, long hair and a little tutu. I, on the other hand, looked more like a young truck driver in training. It was mullets, baby fat, nightmare teeth and a squatty little body. My parents might as well have given me a mesh hat and a little tobacco because my truck was just about to push off.

As I watched myself sing Christmas songs, dance in a leotard (with the underwear hanging out of course) and tell the camera that a spiritual I was about to sing, "originated came from the slaves" I didn't feel like much time had passed. It amazes me to think how small moments in time can so deeply define you. I don't know if I'll ever feel totally comfortable all dressed up and marching around as a lady. (maybe the fact that I see it as "marching" is part of my problem) I think I'll always feel like that little fat kid who was stuck between her days of being a tomboy and trying to emerge as a girl.

I told my parents these thoughts yesterday and my Dad came running to my rescue. He said, "You know how people always say you take after your mother? Well, when you were little you took after your father." Thanks Dad.