Eddie called last night to ask if I would start bugging my sister about getting him some more business cards.  This is a trick of his that usually works.  My sister and I get many demands from my brother, and over the twenty-seven years since his accident we have devised an unspoken plan to deal with them.  There are some things I don’t mind doing…mostly getting him groceries.  My sister who lives three hours away usually takes care of his clothing.  We split the issues around his computer, and we both do everything we can to drag our feet in getting back to his client managers, each hoping the other will do that.

But the business cards.  They are kind of a no-mans (or sisters)  land.  We can never remember who ordered them last and from where.  Whoever ordered them last seem to have ordered a ton of them for years go by before he runs out.  He uses them to connect with others.  He uses them in his endless and fruitless search for love.  He’s currently out of them.  He’s panicking.  And as luck would have it he currently believes it is my sister who orders him cards.  I will happily honor his beliefs.

So his tactic when one of us is either ignoring him or dragging our feet in filling his latest request is to call the other sister and ask her to bug the feet dragging sister.  We always do…it is easier than filling the request and it gives us something on our eternal to-do list to check off.

I will call my sister this morning when I am certain she will be in a meeting. This is a good request to leave on an answering machine.

Some background information about Eddie, Vickie and I….

My sister is a year-and-a-half older than my brother and he is a year and a half older than I am.  My sister somehow sucked the cosmos of my parents’ intelligence and innate abilities quota, borrowing from the thirds my brother and I should have received.  Ed and I have spent our lives battling it out for the remaining third.  At some point we realized we could not actually win the spoils of such a war so we continued on but with a sense of humor, and our battlefield became more the playground of a paintball field than Gettysburg.

Ed was born large and slow on speech.  Next to him I was small and had the verbal agility of Yoda in a sword fight.  I kicked his ass every time.  He would take it for only so long and then he would pound me.  We spent our lives in awe of the other’s abilities.  His mass and muscle and my quick and accurate arguments and insults seemed perfectly equal weapons.  There was never a winner.  Not really.

My mother used to tell this story.  Now we tell it to her and she smiles because it is a good story, but there is pain behind the smile because she has absolutely no memory of it.  My brainy sister decided when Ed was born she would talk for the oaf.  One day he pointed to the kitchen faucet and grunted, Helen Keller-ish, “Wa Wa.”  My sister said to my mother, “He wants water.”  I, on the other hand, a two-ish imp, went up to him, grabbed his pillowed cheeks in my hands and said, “It’s water stupid.  Say it, ‘water’.” My mother never added that he pounded me, but he probably did.

I better go make that call.

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