Debris

I went on a run with Bryan tonight along the river. Unfortunately, it was a little late and were were (once again) racing against the sunset. The trail along the river gives me the heebie jeebies…and I’ve been told that you aren’t supposed to run it at night. It’s the notorious stomping grounds of the homeless…and occasionally a small ‘napping occurs. I forgot that when you run at night, the gnats and other flying pests come out in abundance. I ate about five just trying to make it through the first mile. Seeing all those flies brought me back to an awesome time in my childhood–and a terrible one for my brother.

When we used to live in Dallas, my brother and I would play in the backyard all the time with the hose, especially around the summer months. It was hot, we were kids, and we had to make our own fun somehow. I remember that after a certain long afternoon in the hot sun (and one where my mom had sort of let us play solo), I thought I smelled something funky. Keep in mind, I was about nine, my brother was about six. As it turned out, he had had so much fun playing in the water that he had neglected to go to the restroom indoors. My mom came out and was pretty angry- why didn’t he go inside? This was disgusting.

So she stripped him down in the backyard and there he was–my brother–prostrate in front of me in the lawn, bawling his eyes out because he was mortified and upset that my mom was upset. He continued to bawl as he looked inside the windows of the house that faced the back lawn. I was laughing. And then, I saw something that will remain with me forever. He had flies. Flies were flying around his derriere and I had never seen this happen on a human being.

Years later, my dad would confess that one of his favorite headlines was from a Texas newspaper long ago, where a scientific discovery had proclaimed, ‘There’s Debris Around Uranus.’ I decided this article had been meant for my brother’s moment.

I think I ended up cursing myself, because the years that followed would bring me many times when I couldn’t ‘make it inside to the restroom,’ but that’s another story.

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