My Sister Maya in Ten Memories
It's @maya 's birthday today. I love her.
- •We're sharing a bed. She's 8, I'm 11. Her sleeping body is hot. I put my cold feet on her. She frowns for a moment, then her face relaxes again. She is so beautiful. I touch her right eyebrow.
- •She's a baby and poops in the tub. My mom jumps out, and stands there totally naked and wet, laughing too hard to help me out. Maya is laughing too. Her poop is floating around us. I am distressed.
- •She is 6 and angry because her socks feel itchy. She is lying on the floor, shirtless, red in the face, missing her front teeth, viciously kicking at no one.
- •She calls me from the prom. I'm across the country. It's six am. She says she's been drinking. "I think I broke my foot." I tell her to sleep it off. Later, it turns out she broke her foot.
- •We spend hours transcribing an episode of the TV show Black Adder, so we can restage it for our parents. It doesn't matter how long this task takes. We know it will be worth it to make them laugh.
- •Her first month of college, I come to visit. We lie on her tiny dorm bed and take pictures of ourselves in the low light with my new digital camera. Do we look alike?
- •I'm ten and I save all my money to buy her the Polly Pocket she wanted for her birthday. Watching her open it, I feel prouder than I ever have in my life.
- •She's ten and we are on the top of a mountain. Our hot but irresponsible Australian ski instructor is already far down the slope. There is caution tape at the cliff's edge. I tell Maya to keep my body between her and the side of the mountain at all times. She nods, brave. We push off.
- •Last Christmas Eve, we spend all day eating cheese and doing jigsaw puzzles and it is a totally perfect holiday, even though we don't like the movie we see and even though we forget to make dinner.
- •Her hand, which is smaller than mine, squeezes mine under the table on Thanksgiving, which is also her birthday, because someone in the family just said something nutty and she and I are a team and we don't need words to communicate what we both understand. This could be any year, anywhere.Mymy, it's not thanksgiving without you next to me. I love you and I miss you and I am mentally holding your hand. Thank you for being born and making me the luckiest sister on this tiny blue planet.