Monday, May 10, 2010

The Magician

My sister always made me feel so real and so important, not like a hero but as if me being born had brought a new meaning to her life, a value she had never defined in any words through all the time we spent together… but I knew. She treated me like no other person ever had, ever. Unlike our mother, who had the unique ability to make me feel that she had been given the wrong child on that cold winter day when they checked her out of the hospital.

I was well acquainted with the leather belt that was wrapped tightly around my father’s waist, much like his personality, wound a bit too tight. I knew my mother’s hair brush all too well also, though its purpose when it came to me was hardly to create beauty as was it general mission when it came to her. At night was when my usual intimacy with this instrument happened, in hindsight I wondered if those stiff bristles still had any remnants of tiny cells from my tender glowing pink bottom on it after the brutal lesson had been taught. Imagining the next morning when my mother would brush a hundred strokes of my encounter through her hair. Wearing my agony proudly knowing she had provided a service to the world in my slow destruction. My pain and my screams stroking her hair and comforting her for the mistake the hospital had made.

But Margie always held me above her head. Like a magician on one of those black and white variety shows that my parents quietly made us watch on Sunday nights, she would raise me from the dead and whisper her love for me as the tears fell and made painful stains on the undeserving pure white collar of the shirts my mother always bought in threes. As my sister performed compassionate levitation, I always wondered if somehow she was my mother in spite of her frail body and tender age. Margie inhaled the pain inflicted on me and she was always so humble and sincere.

When I looked into her eyes last year in the stainless steel hospital sterility, I knew she had given her life so that I could be whole. Years and years of saving me stayed with her. I don’t think she was ever able to purge the horrible pain that resided in her long after we had grown up. I don’t think that she wanted to purge it. This was what she did, who she was, a champion. But on that grey day of her illness, when my sister sighed her last breath, my mother turned away, as she left silently she never saw my sister open her eyes for the one last act of magic. As I rose inches from the floor my hero faded from this world as I settled softly to the ground once more.

No comments: