Once, I Almost Killed My Sister

When I was five or so, I nearly killed my sister Carey with a hammer when I threatened to throw it at her and the head flew off, sailed over 2 twin beds and struck here between the eyes.

I was left with the stick.

Carey collapsed behind the bed and my other sister Kim beat me with a hair brush.

All three of my sisters are older than I, ranging from a seven-year to an 11-year gap (the nine-year gap caught the head of the hammer with her coconut, the 11-year gap took the brush to my ass).

I remember that moment and not much else from when I was young, though I remember hearing that my parents had survived a plane crash while on one of the vacations that they took without the kids.

This was just a few days before my seventh birthday. The call came in and I laughed and laughed – my sisters threatened to kick my ass if I didn’t stop, but that didn’t help, not really.

My parents were drinking buddies. Drinking buddies that didn’t show much affection and seemed to dislike their lives. They sat across from each other on a velour sectional, swirling their vodka in cut glass lo-balls, looking at their drinks and being unhappy.

Sometimes they fought and my father would grab a jazz album and put it on loud; prowl the living room with his drink, listening to Miles or Dizzy while he jingled the change in his pocked and fumed like a powerless giant.

My mother would storm out of the room, sometimes filled with righteous indignation, sometimes claiming that she had been shattered.

Other times they sat in oppressive silence, waiting it out until bed time.

The show ran most nights; first in our apartment on Fifth avenue, and later in the sterile beige, white and chrome apartment on the 89th Street (Panoramic Views! Doorman Building!).

I wasn’t cool, only had two friends, had a CB for a short time, rarely went out, knew every show on every channel at every hour, and woke up each day because that’s just what happened.

My parents never hit me, they sent me to private school, and we had a beautiful house in the East Hampton that they would drive back and forth to in cars loaded with kids and dogs and farts and crap while they drank martinis from red plastic cups that fit together to make a shaker.

I broke stuff, stole stuff, climbed trees and took 20’s from my dad’s wallet to buy skateboard parts. Jerked off when I could, had a topless picture of Suzanne Somers from High Society magazine hidden under my bed, and a phone in my room. I locked my door and my parents didn’t notice. I can’t remember any birthday parties, save one.

Meanwhile, the cheap vodka martinis kept appearing in their hands while they argued and slurred and shifted, and I sat in my room watching Happy Days and spying on the girl in the next apartment. I was 13 by then, and I would just float in my room on an Oreo and milk buzz, watching TV and letting time pass through me.

When I almost killed my sister I was already that lonely, sad and scared kid; a house with no foundation, unstable scaffolding trying not to collapse into itself, and my sister had a lump on her head the size of a golf ball.

Yet still, she forgave me.

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