It’s the seven year itch. Not the marriage – the boys. They absolutely can’t stand each other. From the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed – they are kicking each other’s balls. Literally. It’s come to the point of adjusting schedules to keep them apart. Not surprisingly, they spend the entire time away from each other being preoccupied with what the other one is doing.
My afternoons alone with Zuki, he’ll ask me, “What do you think Samu”s doing?”
I’ll say I don’t know to which he says, “Probably playing Minecraft.”
Again, I’ll say I don’t know and then sure enough, Samu calls.
“Can I speak to Zuki?”
“What for.” I’ll ask.
“So he can play Minecraft multi-player with me.”
It’s about the only time they’re civil to each other – over the phone. Get them in a room together and all I hear is the Ironside siren music that reappeared in Kill Bill.
Every morning, when they’re supposed to be brushing their teeth and getting dressed, the actual routine I hear is this: chit chat, laughter, cabinet doors slamming, somebody saying, “Heeeey, that’s mine,” followed by running, chasing, thuds of punches landing and finally – wailing.
That’s when either my husband or I have to – intervene.
They stand there – the two of them, in just their underpants, huffing as if they just ran a marathon with a big red welt on their backs. This is the scene we walk into at least two mornings out of the week. The other mornings, we’re just too tired to break it up. Let them go to school looking like they just got out of jail, I need to finish my coffee.
Some afternoons my mom takes Zuki to her apartment and he acts like he’s in Vegas. He demands from her, an endless buffet of snacks, beverage after beverage, and she waits on him even though she complains about it later.
“Who does he think he is – my husband?” She’ll say.
When it’s time to go home, Zuki will stall and when all else fails he’ll say, “Baba, I don’t want to go home because I really hate Samu. He really gets on my nerves. I just wanna kill him. That’s why I choke him. Can I have another snack?”
Meanwhile, Samu pulls the same stunt but instead of choking, he’ll say, “That’s why I punch him in the balls,” and instead of a snack, he’ll ask to play Minecraft.
They are so different and yet they’re the same. It’s amazing how the same ingredients, baked in the same oven produced two different buns – onion and cinnamon raisin in my case. While there’s no secret ingredient to avoid sibling personality clashes, there’s none to guarantee compatibility either.
Even the closest of people have turned into distant ghosts or worse, formidable enemies. Then I guess a punch in the balls to solve a dispute isn’t that bad after all.