Happy birthday, sister. My oldest sister, the firstborn. Sometimes we don’t get along, because you’re a little bit lazy and a little bit whiny and emotional, and I’m a lotta bit an insufferable idealistic bitch. But I love you anyways.
Remember my first semester in the dorms? When I had just moved to Salt Lake and didn’t get along with my roommate and worked late and didn’t have an oven? You let me come over and bake pizzas and smoke weed and watch movies. If I missed the last train, you let me stay the night. And remember that I did it so much that I had my own “bedroll”? Sleeping bag, PJs and a toothbrush.
When I was still in high school and you had already left college and were living on your own in a tiny “bedroom” in the old Ruby building in Salt Lake, I thought that was so cool. I would say things like, “When I visit my sister, in Salt Lake…” or “I was at my sister’s place, in Salt Lake…”
Remember how for a while we had that thing where we would punch each other in the boob all the time? I think I started it because you had real, actual boobs and I was, like, 12 and jealous/fascinated. I associate this epoch of our lives with the phrase “tender, young breastacle.” Always.
And in middle school, you took me and my friends to the Blink182 concert, because we were too young to drive or go on our own. And you didn’t even act like we were the worlds biggest bunch of dorks. Nor did you tell Mom and Dad that we flashed our bras.
Oh! And remember when you first got your driver’s license and Mom or Dad would make you drive me around, like to a friend’s house for a sleepover or to orchestra rehearsal or something? And remember in the car we would always have “Classic Rock Lessons” with the radio? And you would quiz me about Bon Jovi and AC/DC and stuff like that, and remember you taught me about putting the car in neutral to coast down hills, and to jiggle the stick shift back and forth at stop lights, “just to make sure” before letting off the clutch?
Do you know that, to this day, I still do that? I always jiggle the stick shift, and I always think of you.
I don’t remember this one, but maybe you do: Mom says that when we were little–when I was still practically a baby and you were a skinny, hyperactive tween (before tweens even existed)–you would tie a blanket to Sammy’s crib, and we would huddle there under it, in the little space between the crib and the wall. For hours, just talking and playing.
We called it “The World.”