Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Brother of Another Color but From the Same Mother

          The sighting of an African American in my hometown is more rare than seeing me without an alcoholic beverage. On one occasion I actually ran into a Black man in my neighborhood. I was 7 years old and not prepared for what I was about to see. I was astonished. I had discovered Big Foot! He first greeted me with the obligatory head nod to acknowledge my Blackness. As we crossed paths he looked at me and said, "What's up my brother?" I kept walking and ignored him. He clearly had me confused with someone else. He wasn't my brother. I didn't even know him. It didn't make sense to me that I was supposed to feel some sort of automatic connection with him just because we were both the color of slightly over baked gingerbread. I was confused. At that moment, I thought of my actual brother, who is White. Had he been the one who walked by this African American man he would've paid my brother no notice at all. This seemed not to be fair in my head which influenced my decision to ultimately disengage in any acknowledgement of my Blackness during my teenage years. I've lightened up since then. You have to when living in America to avoid getting stabbed. I lived in Brooklyn for Christ's sake! However, I haven't let go of my confidence in the fact that I only have one brother. He is the same color of snow. And he is amazing.

          When I say my brother is White, he's not just an ordinary Caucasian. If you put him in a bag of marshmallows you probably wouldn't be able to find him. I've tried to test out this theory on several occasions but my brother has been less than cooperative. My brother looks like a cross between Harry Potter and Justin Bieber. But for the purposes of this blog and to avoid the longwindedness of a hybrid name let's just refer to him as Harry Potter. When I was 4, I remember Princess Toadstool (my Mother) being away for a short time. I knew she was in the hospital, but I wasn't quite sure why. It was very difficult for me not having my usual partner in crime for Patty cake around. Somehow I pulled through emotionally. After some time my Stepdad took me to the hospital to go visit Princess Toadstool. I walked into the room and couldn't believe what I witnessed. She was holding something very small in a blanket. It was the tiniest most adorable little vanilla dumpling you've ever seen. Upon being introduced to this strange creature, I was informed that this apparantly was my brother. "I have a cream puff for a brother?!?" was the reaction in my mind. He was just so incredibly fluffy. He was pink! Like Kirby! Nobody tells you that White people are born pink. I'm sure my Mother was as shocked as I was. This was absolutely ridiculous. He didn't resemble me at all. He didn't have my butterscotch colored skin nor was he thin. He was just this little ball of White jiggly fluff. It was very strange. So once we brought the little marshmallow home, the adjustment began. I remember my Stepdad drinking coffee out of my mug that had little Harry Potter's face on it! This was absolutely absurd. Where was my coffee mug? I thought. It's always difficult having your spot as the youngest most adorable child taken away from you but little did I know that things would get better. For the record, he is no longer pink.

       It turns out that Harry Potter would grow up to be quite the little Caucasian whipper snapper. At 4 years old the little marshmallow could out spell my Brown behind. I'm not exactly sure where he learned to spell and pronounce "Brochiasauras" but it definitely wasn't from me. I was the best speller in my entire 2nd grade class but there Harry Potter was, that little munchkin was too smart for my own good! He pushed me to be better! I began watching every dinosaur movie I could to ensure that I would at least match his intelligence in the "prehistoric spelling and pronunciation" department! I was determined. But I could never truly get mad at the little nugget. Harry Potter at heart has always been very sensitive and kind. Again, obviously this is something he did NOT learn from his older Browner brother. Speaking of Brown. He is still yet to point out the fact that we are clearly two different shades. He has no interest in this matter. To think that all of that time growing up I would stare at him and wonder how he and snow were the same color meanwhile he really didn't give a shit. I guess I really didn't give a shit either. It didn't bother me but I was completely fascinated by it. I looked  like an overgrown Chia pet and he had hair so blindingly blond you had to wear sunglasses when in close proximity.

             Harry Potter has a very strange relationship with animals. He's like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura. My brother is like Morphene to animals. They immediately calm down and relax around him. It's very strange. I, on the other hand, am completely a hot mess when it comes to any woodland creature. I freak them out they freak me out. We do NOT have a good relationship, animals and I. When dogs see me I immediately run in the other direction. They bark and growl at me like I'm Michael Vick. I have no choice but to sprint away as quickly as possible. This is partly on account of my fear but also to deal with my inevitable diarrhea and find a toilet quickly. Harry Potter is just so easy and calm. I wish I had his nerves. I have to drink quite a few alcoholic beverages to come down to his temperament but at that point my intelligence has scaled way below his on account of the seven margaritas I've downed. I hope that one day I'll be relaxed as he. For now, I'll just settle on being the thinner of the two. However, I have to be very careful of what I eat because he's skinny behind is edging up on my waistline closely!

             At the end of the day I'm not exactly sure why Jesus decided to turn my brother into a marshmallow. But he did. And there's nothing I can do to change that. I wouldn't want to. If you put my sister on one side of me and my brother on the other, we look like the most delicious reverse-Oreo sensation that you've ever seen in your life! It's amazing. Harry Potter has a sensitivity and an approachability that is unmatched. I attribute this to him being born EXACTLY 7 days before Jesus. So, I raise a toast to my little White dumpling. Happy belated birthday! May we all bask in your glow.

Your Brother of Another Color but from the Same Mother

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