Monday, July 30, 2012

The Blue Car…or How I Learned the Fine Art of Sibling Loyalty


            There is nothing so strong as the loyalty between sisters. Sometimes, that loyalty goes above and beyond the call of duty. Case in point; when I was about six years old, my older sister Angella, who was about eight at the time, insisted that she woke up one night and saw a blue car sitting in the middle of the bedroom we shared in our quaint suburban New York home.
             Gella, as I called her, was so adamant about this mysterious blue car that she actually got me to believe that I saw it to, and for the next few weeks, whenever my mom or dad would mention the blue car incident, I would be right there beside my sister insisting that there had indeed been a blue car in our room.
            Now, mind you, I had never seen a blue car in our room on that particular night, or any other night. Yet as the months went on, I began to find myself questioning whether or not I had seen anything. My sister really, REALLY believed that a blue car had driven into our room (despite the fact it was a rather small room), parked itself at the foot of her bed and that it was driven by a man with a head shaped like one of those Fisher Price Little People toys.
            Had I really NOT seen this car? I began to wonder, thinking that I MIGHT have seen this car, and that little round-headed driver.  As more and more time passed, I became more and more convinced that I had seen the car, and even started corroborating some of the details of the incident, which mysteriously seemed to grow even more bizarre each time it was recounted.  Like my sudden insistence that it was a two-door convertible.
            So much did I want my sister to love me and approve of me and my undying loyalty that I eventually did a total reversal, going from being so certain she had been dreaming about the car, to a state of absolute KNOWING that yes, there had been a blue car in our room. Darn it, if my sister said she saw a car, then there was a car in our bedroom and no one could make me believe otherwise.
            Eventually, we moved from that house to Southern California, a bigger house with extra bedrooms. I no longer shared a room with my sister, in fact, our lives began to grow more and more apart as she discovered her own friends and interests and I did the same with my own age group. Whether she ever saw anything mysterious in her bedroom again remained her secret.
            Still, no amount of time and distance changed her mind about that blue car. To this day, over thirty-five years later, my sister still insists she saw that car in our room, and no amount of realism, logic or analysis can deter her. I usually still go along with her, which drives my parents crazy, although the passage of time has once again made me reconsider whether I ever really did observe that car, or just wanted so badly to be a part of whatever it was my beloved older sister was experiencing.
            And yet, I still can’t be sure. After all, when I was about eight years old myself, I could have sworn I woke up one night to see a black locomotive train coming down the hallway right towards me. I was sleeping in my sister’s bed at the time, since I had been having nightmares, which made it even all the more bizarre. Perhaps her bed was a vortex into the unknown, or held some kind of supernatural power that enabled anyone sleeping in it to hallucinate different types of moving vehicles. The mystery deepened, and still has never been solved to any sense of closure, and since my old New York house has been completely torn down and remodeled, and my sister’s old bed long since turned to dumpyard compost, I suppose there is no going back to find out.
            Angella insists she never saw the locomotive, even though she was in the same bed that night, right beside me. So much for sibling loyalty.

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