December 28, 2007 12:35 PM
Sand, Steel, and Swings: Christmas at the park with my brother
On Christmas day, my brother and I were alone in the house. My mother was still at work at the hospital, and my father had gone to the meditation center for his afternoon session. Dale was working on AP Bio homework, and I was just lounging around the house, looking for something to do.
Bored and a little edgy from spending so much time indoors, I decided to go for a walk. After a moment's thought, I took my brother with me. No sense in keeping him locked up indoors, you see, and I figured he would enjoy some fresh air.
We bundled up as best we could and soldiered into the night air. The Santa Ana winds were blowing something fierce, and the shrieking winds brought a strange eeriness to our friendly evening street. We headed for the park, my brother on rollerblades, myself on foot.
After a brief excursion onto the tennis courts, where we played tag and whacked each other with sticks, we arrived at our destination. The playground. A modest ensemble of plastic, metal, and sand, it had served us well in our youth in amusement and sport. Seeing it now, after such long years at college, brought some comfort. There was no one else around; no one else was foolish enough to come out at this time of night to a playground beset by such winds.
We played on the swings, launching ourselves up into the air at the zenith of our motion, landing gracefully to the sandy ground below. We walked on top of the monkey bars, striding them like unsteady giants. We set obstacle courses, and timed each other traversing through the structure by obscure routes (Blue and orange only! No brown!). My younger brother, the more athletic between us, always bested my times. It is a fact that I have long learned to live with that my brother will always outclass me in such things.
After a ready romp through the playground, we set for home, myself on foot, my brother on unsteady wheels. It was Christmas, after all, and our parents were bound to be waiting.
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