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When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I would buy a pack of candy for about P30.00, take it home, and sell them for P20.00 each to my younger brother. I used to wonder why he always bought them – even though he knew how much the whole pack cost (on other grocery trips he’d buy his own pack and still buy my pack at crazy prices). The few times he didn’t buy them was when he didn’t have any money, and even on those occasions, he was ready to borrow from his brother Shylock (my earliest experience of the world of money lending).
Fast-forward to my university days studying Economics. We’re talking about the price elasticity of demand.
One thing I never understood when I was younger, was that no matter how much I cheated my brother on the price, and no matter how much money I made at his expense, he never seemed to care. He was happy with his candy.
When the Moon Hits Your Eye
I haven’t found Cupid’s passion-tipped arrows, but love is definitely in the air at the Bonifacio residence. Our house has turned into a veritable rubber tree – full of sap. First of all there’s Joe and his new “friend”. Then there’s Josh and his “forever friend”. But the final proof comes from my dad, my hero, the only one who’s ever agreed with me that a Braveheart wedding (horseback, rain, grass, just three people, a lake) was a great idea, my efficient, early sleeping, early waking, running, scheduled, intense father has gone the way of Nicholas Sparks with his “I miss my wife post”.
The Good Old Days
Things weren’t always so mushy. I miss the good old days when Josh would wake me in the middle of the night and ask whether I would rather eat someone’s toe jam or lick the dirt off some thick-necked person. Or when Joe would destroy my GI Joes and hang them from hooks on our windows, as a warning to would be enemies. He even melted one of my guys on the light bulb of one of our living room lamps. I know he looks like the quintessential pastor’s kid but it was his idea to pour alcohol all over our bathroom and set it on fire. I don’t know how many lamps or windowpanes we broke, or how many walls we ruined, or 110s plugged into 220s, or how many cars we crashed. But we were boys, no, we were more than boys, we were the knights of the round table, gunfighters in Ok Corral, soldiers storming Normandy, and…
… I just realized. Joe always got the cool guy, like Wyatt Earp, or the Lone Ranger, or King Arthur. And I got the sidekick, like Tonto, or Robin or the next coolest like Lancelot. We would make a character up for Josh or he would get someone like Sir Bors. Who the heck is Sir Bors??? Joe read all the books and knew all the stories, so he knew which characters were cool. I can’t believe I agreed to be Tonto. “That right, Kemo Sabe.” Crap. Now I feel cheated…
Legends of the Fall
Part of any good brothers story is the rivalry. And we fought for and about everything. Like who was the strongest? Or the fastest? Or the best in basketball? There were areas where superiority was accepted. Joe was definitely the smartest. And Josh was the funniest. I could never win any argument against either of them. Joe would beat me with logic. Josh would beat me by having absolutely no logic. I probably lost in every category, but that’s ok, I won where it counts – looks.
We’re All Saps
As I sit in the patio, the same patio where we had our food fights, where my dad got mad at Josh for drawing a breast before realizing it was half a lime (what’s up with Josh and breasts?), where Joe would shoot cats before they died on the Murrells garage, where WD-40 canisters turned into bug frying flamethrowers, and where we would trade stories about Mang Manny (our driver) the toughest man alive next to Chuck Norris, I can’t help but admit, the oak has joined the Hevea.