Little Mr. Wonderful
By the time he was five, my brother Conrad could explain Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in a way that even I, his depressingly normal sister, could understand.
At seven, he'd already re-read "Finnegan's Wake" and actually got all the hidden jokes.
When he was awarded his first Ph.D. from Harvard his classmates voted him the boy most likely to find a cure for death.
He was nine years old at the time.
"Alright Kathy. That's quite enough." I lowered my school essay.
Mom was frowning over her pink tortoise shell reading glasses. "You know very well what."
I feigned innocence, something else I wasn't very good at even then. "Didn't I make him sound wonderful enough?"
Just then my kid brother walked into the room, munching on an apple, just like one of us mortals.
"Really," Mom sighed, "I don't understand what this hostility is towards your brother. What has he ever done to you?"
Conrad explained it all perfectly, with footnotes and everything.
"I said that's enough," Mom said sharply.
I looked up from my paper again. She was sitting on the wing-backed patterned armchair. Open across her lap was a scrapbook of Conrad's distinguished accomplishments, volume thirty-seven. The light-stand and credenza were covered with framed photos of my kid brother; candles flickered; it was a shrine to his memory...
"Kathy, I'm warning you for the last time, if you don't stop this right now…"
Her eyes blazed. She was egging me on.
30 September 2013