We were pretending. We did that a lot. I was writing to her from “The State Hospital for The Spiritually Possessed, The Physically Suppressed and The Mentally Depressed” and she was writing back to commiserate with me, as she had recently escaped from the same institution. I had forgotten how silly we were, and how creative. And bizarre. And twisted.
Anyway, reading those notes, I realized that my writing style has not changed very much over the years. Which was oddly comforting. Until I realized that I still write like I’m in high school. [Sigh.] Truth is, all three of my sisters are, each in their own way with their own voice, much better writers than I am. They are far more disciplined, more focused, less likely to ramble. Every one of them can make a point in half the time it takes me. But apparently I’m the only one of us who has conversations running through her head all the time and feels compelled to inflict stories on others. They claim to love me in spite of it.
Here is part of what I wrote in one of those notes (please note: my sister did not really fall down the stairs).
“I’m so glad to hear about your fall. Down the stairs, of course. I’m very happy for you; it’s about time you got a break like that.”
And I can’t even share with you the really funny stuff because, first of all, you wouldn’t get it -- you’re just going to have to take my word for that -- and second, my sister would kill me. But even back then we were making up strange names for each other and various family members. So today I decided I’m going to call that particular sister Booko. She’ll be thrilled.
There are four of us girls: Babs is the oldest (I wrote about her earlier), then me, and Booko is third. I can’t use their real names here on my blog. Really, it’s not their fault they have a sister who likes to make stuff up and share it with the general public, so I have to protect their identities. Right?
Sure I do. Mom said so.
But I have to make up names that I’ll remember so I don’t call one of them Bathsheba one week and Brunhilda or Barlora or Bitsy a month later. I still don’t understand why they got so upset when I suggested those perfectly lovely names.
I think it’s amusing that, in one of the notes, I had copied a bunch of quotes for my sister, including this one:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, “it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.”
The name Booko comes from way back when we were toddlers and our parents would read to us. Apparently she never wanted them to stop, because after about the ninth reading of the same book they had to resort to hiding it, pretending it had disappeared. And she’d ask, “Where’d the book go?” Except she was maybe two years old and it came out sounding like book-o. So for a while that really was her nickname. She’s stuck with it again now.
And I’ve decided to call my youngest sister Goldilocks, Goldie for short. Partly because she has always had a natural golden tint to her mostly brown hair, but also because she has had to deal with The Three Bears her whole life. Poor baby. As a child she had extremely long, beautiful, curly hair that had never been cut. And every day mom wove it into two long braids. I still remember the time we convinced her it was going to bleed the first time mom cut it. The three of us thought it was pretty funny, until mom found out what all the crying was about.
So there you have it, Goldie and The Three Bears. We made up outrageous stories no one else would ever understand and made each other cry and still make each other laugh. All the good things sisters are supposed to do.
And I just realized -- I never did find that picture I was looking for.
I got distracted by something shiny.