“I remember the yellow mosquito we’d hang over the bed each night we go to sleep when we were kids,” I told my brother while he was hunched over an old wicker chair he’s been fixing for the past half hour.
limited edition print
limited edition print
“Yeah, and you’d always be the one hanging it,” he said dryly with his back still turned to me. “Would you hand me those scissors behind you?” he asked without even turning.
“That’s because you suck at it. You never knew how to stretch it well enough so that it won’t droop over our faces when we sleep,” and I poked his shoulder with the scissors. He took it and snipped some loose wicker strands sticking out from the bottom of the chair.
“Do you remember that bright red woolen blanket we used to sleep on which had those four naked mermaids on it with huge breasts?” I asked as I saw little Zach coming out of the door wearing a huge smile on his face as he squeaked in his baby voice “’ito ‘an” (Tito Dan). Somehow this child of three still can’t pronounce his D’s and T’s yet to complete my name.
“Uh-huh. You used to rub your feet on that blanket every night in bed and you’d put that big hotdog-shaped pillow between us,” he replied as I took little Zach in my arms and I could smell pee all over him, but baby pee isn’t as bad smelling as adult pee.
“That hotdog pillow was nice to snuggle with. And besides, it helped to prevent you from putting your foot up my nose when you’re asleep,” I said in my defense while he took a couple of wicker strands to wove into the hole left by the ones he just pulled out. And Zach started to poke into my nose.
“Do you remember being breastfed by Mamu?” I asked him while I had to hold down Zach’s hand before he gets the bright idea of poking my eyes next. He giggled and he wiggled his hands out and started to play with the buttons on my shirt.
“I do. And somehow, in my memories, I remember the smell of her milk, how it tasted. I also remember the mosquito net when I was still a baby* was also yellow and that red blanket with the mermaids, it was already there when I was a few months old. I remember these things,” I told him as I could hear Zach breathing beside my ear as I held him in my right arm while he kept on fiddling with the buttons of my shirt.
“Hmm,” my brother remarked as he straightened up, looked at me and said, “You know what?”
“You have too much on your mind and too much time in your hands. Grab that other chair and help me fix these things,” he said with a dismissive wave of hand. At that instance, Zach flashed a big smile and grunted. He farted.
“See? Even Zach farted at your thoughts.”
* My brother was born four years after me.