Sep 21, 2008

Dr. Swoozie Knights, Chapter Three by Leonardo Ricardo

...end of Chapter 2 (scroll down to the index for earlier chapters of Dr. Swoozie Knights):

"I ran down into the open arms of my sister Milly who
quickly stepped back when I came in for the landing.
She stepped back over a pile of clinkers she was
standing on. Face down I went. Oh, it was just a
terrible accident they told me and off I went to St.
Johns hospital to get stitched up.

I still have the scar at my hair line in the center of
my face, can you see it right here, Dr. Daytona? It
was a pretty wicked gash. It's still pretty ugly but I
try and let my hair cover it.

I belived them, I thought it was a accident because my
older brother Mike never, ever would have let me get
hurt like that."

Chapter III

(what a sad thing it was/is that I never had a brother, older or not, named Mike or not...but, Dr. Ricardo Daytona doesn't need to know that)

"Mike was such a nice guy Dr. Daytona. There was never a time
he didn't like me. I remember once we were washing
the car in the driveway next to our house. Mike always
wanted me to help him with stuff like that. Mike told me that
he needed my help because it was hard to do things
alone and he liked being with me because his "little" brother was a "big" help. Mike said that him
and me were the "A team" around our house and the best two guys on the block. I
knew he was right. I worked hard because
of Mike and because he expected me to be a "big" help.

It was hot that day and we were barefoot,in
bathing suits and scrubbing and wiping the car dirt away. Mike
told me that you can't wash the car in the sunlight
because it streaks if you do. I didn't know what
streak was, and I didn't want him to know I didn't know , so I just shook my head, yes. I didn't
want him to think he had a stupid little brother like
Milly had said I was. Mike was good at telling me
stuff I needed to know. It was a good thing
the car was under the big tree near the hedge. That big tree protected
the car and protected me from bad streaks...The
tree always reminded me of Mike afterward. Mike and
the tree both liked me and protected me from being stupid and getting streaks or falling down and needing stitches in my head.

Today Mike was teaching me about cleaning the
whitewalls. Cleaning whitewalls was important to learn to clean for a
little guy like me. Whitewalls are important because
they "have to be perfect" and "everybody sees them,"
that's what my big brother Mike said to me. I was
scrubbing on them with steel wool. I was getting them perfect on the outside while Mike was cleaning inside of the car. What a great day it
was to be a little brother washing a car. We did a
perfect job Mike said. We were the best that two
brothers could be at doing everything. Just my big brother Mike and me and
the big tall old protective tree.

Did you know that Mike was inter-state wrestling champ
Dr. Ricardo? He was number one in our city and then
in all of the state. I got to see him compete so many times.
Mike always told Mom he won because I was his good
luck charm.. He said he was real lucky to have a little
brother like me. It felt good to be a lucky little
brother like me.

I wrestled with Herman our dog sometimes. I was
the champion in our backyard wrestling competition. I won the matches
between Herman and me. I think the dog let me win
Doctor Ricardo. I think the dog could have beat me. I
never thought about it that way before, until right now,
until today, sitting here remembering the earliest version of me.

Mike died during a bus wreck, it was a rolling over bus accident
coming home from the Pacific Northwest Finals. I
didn't know he would be dead for good because he won First Place.

Nobody wanted me to look in the box and to see him dead but
I did. They told me he was sleeping and they said he
wanted me to know that he loved me. I knew that
already. They said "Mike is going to sleep a very long
time and he didn't want me to wake him up." That's
what they said to the little person that was me. I
felt sad, everybody was sad, nobody wanted Mike
to sleep as long as he was sleeping. Everyone ate some
chocolate cake that Annabelle, she wasn't really our Aunt, baked and brought over to cheer us up. They all went away. I hated that day.

I was sitting alone outside on the steps after we came
back from church. I thought I'd just wait for Mike to
wake up and then come home. A long black truck came up
to the house. A man carried a big long box of flowers to the front porch
to give to my mom. I said she would be outside in a
little while even though I know she went to bed.

I wanted to be with Mike. they put him in a box with
flowers all around to sleep. I waited. I got sleepy
waiting for Mike. I got into the box with all those
flowers. I waited in the flowers for Mike to find me
when he came home. After he woke up, I knew he'd come
home looking for me.

Always, when Mike came home he'd get me out bed in the
morning. He said I was the first bright part of the
day. He never came to get me out of the flowers in
that box though...that was the first night that he started
sleeping at someones elses house and he didn't come home the next day.

(if only my big brother Mike had lived, my life, and things in general, would have been so much better)

End Chapter III, Dr. Swoozie Knights©

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