My Sister, Part Two


Macrame, macramé: my sister was deep into knotted strings. At one point, she sported a leather fedora with a macramé hatband, a macramé choker, macramé bangles and a macramé Jethro belt (Note: during that time she was grooving hard to Ram, Carly Simon and Cat Stevens). Suede, denim, and that stinking patchouli were her secondary fashion trademarks. She was, of course, a popular girl.

She had three pot plants growing in her bedroom window; floor to ceiling windows, arched and beveled, with lace curtains and shelves of candy-like dolls upon the walls. Puny, badly raised plants. I tried to bust her smug ass. Dad had just returned from a six week trip to Gallo and was pretty weary. Sprawled on the couch with People magazine.

“Dad, your daughter’s growing marijuana in her bedroom.”

“Leave your sister alone.”

“But she’s a drug addict, Dad. She likes getting shots.”

“She looks fine to me.”

In those days, my sister was the only girl in the family — untouchable. As the eldest, mine alone was still all the misery and the wrong. Like Jesus. Like Lewis and Clark. In my brutal, suburban wilderness, the only justice was rug burns.


Rug Burns

For best effect, work on a medium pile rug, preferably un-vacuumed (the grit adds additional irritation).




Back then, my sister dressed like a blind slut: she showed plenty of skin through her retarded ensembles. The rug burns glowed like neon. She showed them to my father.

“What’s that, Cricket?” he cooed.

“Your eldest son did this to me.”

“Your brother gave you a rash?”

When my father was upset with me, he liked to pull my hair out. By the age of fourteen, I had a Don Knotts hairline. That shit hurt. Once a year, I suppose, I deserved it. But everything else was my sister’s fault, she and her harpy sycophants.

Let’s jump ahead.


The Iran Hostage Crisis

November 4, 1979: the American embassy in Tehran is raided by enraged Iranian ‘students’. 90 Americans are held captive, 52 of them held for 444 days. A botched rescue attempt; the Ayatollah hollering Jimmy Carter was having one hell of a time. And stateside, Irani-Americans got a taste of what Japanese-Americans were stuffed with during WWII : cold stares and terrifying threats, beatings in the street, and the destruction of hard-won property. My sister decided the time was right to fall for an Iranian man.

“Love hath no pride,” she’d intone whenever anyone raised doubts about the relationship, and no-one knew what she meant.

Passers-by would stop, spin and spit on the sidewalk at the sight of my sister strolling with her swarthy beau. Dogs hated him. Cab after empty cab passed them by. He got hate mail on Sundays. Someone put a dreadlock in my sister’s hamburger when they lunched together at her favorite diner. My sister bore it all like Zsa Zsa Gabor: nose up, lip curled, over-groomed. No-one understood.

And, to be fair, Minki was a nice enough guy. He was into nunchucks, those linked and whizzing batons of the martial arts. He had a wonderful sense of humor in a language none of us understood. And he reeked of Portugese sardines, god knows why. Minki ate only chicken. That’s it, chicken — no soup or salad, no, no sides, no sauces; pure chicken. He licked at it like a caveman while my sister ogled him enraptured. Then my sister decided to raise chickens to enhance her love with Minki. Apartment living was no deterrent.


The Poultry Phase

Part 3

Filed under Writer X's Sister on January 11th, 2004