Karate Brother

Pandiyan – Flickr Creative Commons

When we were little I would pretty much do anything my cute little loveable brother asked. You’d think the danger signal would be out, and I the older sibling, would have just said ‘no’. After all neither of us actually attended karate classes. I think we’d just seen it on the television, but we were young, had active imaginations and were often role playing.

We laid out a combat zone, by pulling back all the chairs and laying out mattresses. At first it was mostly fake wizzing noises and kicks that did not land. We imagined we were in our own martial arts movies. I willingly took part in my brother’s game. But then suddenly ‘wallop’ to my right side, a kick really landed.

I fell over and banged my ear on something which cut it badly. So badly, that in the next minute the blood was gushing out and I was running to find a towel so as not to damage mum’s freshly cleaned carpet. I wrapped it around my ear and then ran down the hallway crying with all the drama of a victim in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Mum was yelling, ‘what’s all the fuss, what have you kids been doing this time’, and my brother high tailed it out of there, somewhere up our hilly back yard with a deadly rooster called Solomon who commanded a harem of chickens, plenty of corn and peaches, and most of all safety from Mum’s impending punishment.

At first Mum was mad at me and hollered even more when she saw the state of the lounge, not realising I was in pain, then she noticed the red seeping out of the towel.

Mum pulled the towel off my ear, announcing, ‘I think it’s off to the hospital for stitches for you.’

I can’t remember where my hiding brother was when the stitches were going in. Looking back it was probably an accident but I didn’t talk to him ages after that and it seemed no time at all before my other younger baby brothers got bigger and became his partners in mayhem.

We never recovered that early closeness, although he did sing a hilarious comedic tribute at my wedding. He was a talented boy, at so many things, but he was gone before he ever really settled down.

Still, I like to think this incident is why I became so interested in art, seeing as I had a damaged ear experience like Van Gough.

This story appears on ABC Open’s 500 Words


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