by T. Hudson
One warm afternoon
when I was eight-years-old, I had nodded off in
my sister Leilani's station wagon,
while she drove on Highway 1, a long sinuous
stretch of road that ran juxtaposed to the
California coastline. Beautiful sceneries of
daunting cliffs and the expansive Pacific ocean,
followed us like the eyes of the Mona Lisa.
As I was sleeping, evidently missing Mona's
stalking eyes, Leilani slowed the car and
then came to a stop at a fireworks display.
After I woke up to my sister's flicking
finger to my forehead, she sent me out to
purchase some fireworks.
I soon found
myself in front of a blue-wooded structure, cut
out like a massive shoe box lying on its
side. In that box were two women and a man
selling tiny explosives that were celebrated
the world over. I proceeded to jockey for
position among the queue of fire hunters and
waited for my turn in line. When my turn finally
came, I stood before the male hawker whose
haunting, swarthy eyes seared through me as
if I wasn't there. I promptly cleared my
throat to get his attention. A minute passedno
help. Two minutes and an impatient sigh then
passedstill no help. He was
helping people who were standing behind me.
Id been slighted! No he didnt!
heard my sister's thundering voice behind me,
asking what was taking so long. I then
slithered my way back a few steps past the
tiny crowd and came upon Leilani's restless
posture of folded fists on hips. I had
explained to her the man's inability to vend his
wares properly to the next available customer:
Me. Or, maybe I'd said to her, he don't
wanna help me, I forget. My
sister boiled. Wavy lines of vaporous heat
began to waft visibly above her forehead. Within seconds,
a volcano of expletives bursted out from her
mouth and into the once unsullied air.
I wanted to
cover my innocent ears. Was it the
English language? Was she speaking in
tongues? Then it happened. A threat to
the male hawker that I wouldn't wish on Hitler
himself. I will hang him upside down
by his balls! I'd never heard of
such a thing. I wanted to take a minute
to picture that scenario, but it only took a
second for me to cringe and throw up. Surely, even
ole Satan would kick himself for not thinking
of that one.
My shock eventually
subsided when my sister exorcised herself from
the evil spirits that took over her body. Relief
couldn't had come any sooner, for my virgin ears
had certainly been violated and had heard
enough of the Sailors' language for a
lifetime. As for that male hawkerfortunate
was he that the shadow of my sister
doth not cometh hither.
What I'd learned
that day was that my older sister Leilani would
always have my back. She was truly a brother's sister.