Sitting across the dinning room table was my brother, chowing down on his meal, with the intention of finishing it. Not a single doubt crossed his mind that he would not. In front of me was a cup of chocolate milk, and a bowl of who-knows-what.
My brother, whom I love very much, was a complicated guy. He was many things, two of which stood out most prominent; his wit and skill at being an asshole. I was both amazed and frustrated.
So it was no surprise that although he appeared delighted to fork away at his meal, he thought it would be a good idea that at the same time I get a taste of what’s on his mind. Unfortunately I can’t remember what he said that night, although I do remember that whatever his words were held more weight than mine. His wit was stronger, his comebacks more potent. Any joke of mine was dead the moment it left my mouth.
It didn’t help that my sisters husband, who was her boyfriend at the time, was behind me soaked in tears of laughter. I couldn’t let this happen, I thought. I need to prove myself to this laughing man behind me, who I hardly knew anything about beside his high sense of fashion. I never once saw him wear the same fitted hat twice.
Something had to be done
I stood up from my seat, slowly raised my face, cold and dramatic, and watched him watch me. Whatever he had said to me that night was offensive enough for me to have done what I did next. “I bet you think you’re all big and tough, don’t you?” My eyes slightly squint as I reached for the cold cup of chocolate milk, a smug smile stretched across my face as if I was about to checkmate his entire existence.
“How about now?” I asked as I emptied out the entire cup of chocolate milk on him, the newly installed curtain behind him, and the food on his plate. I took a few steps back, and finished the deed with “BITCH!”
Those were the last words to come out of my mouth. As soon as I turned around my mothers right palm had already come flying toward me, swung with the force only a single mother of four can posses. A large hand print burned on my right cheek, swollen and coated in tears and regret.
Life was never the same
Never before or since have I witnessed the sheer strength that I had succumbed to that night. PLAP! Immediately, tears burst from my eyes, my heart sank, defeated.
Just as sudden as the slap across my cheek, was the unmistakable laughter of my sisters boyfriend. I think we both had tears running down our faces that night.
Still, it wasn’t all that bad. I learned a few things: I’m just as much an asshole as my brother, never splash chocolate milk onto a white curtain, my brother-in-law enjoys laughing at my pain, and that my mom has the accumulated slap-force of her ancestors and of those before her.
My face has since recovered, although I sometimes feel that it has remained slightly swollen. Perhaps it’s all the bread I eat. In any case, I think its safe to conclude that the whether he be blood, or by marriage, all brothers are assholes.