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Look at this fucking writer: Roxane Gay

When my youngest brother was born (he has since been known as The Baby, even until today), my other brother and I had, after years of bickering reached a certain accord because we were in mutual agreement that a third child was not needed. We implored my parents to give The Baby back to wherever he had come from, not yet understanding that he couldn’t be returned to the store. Once we accepted that The Baby was a permanent fixture in the family, we endeavored to make his life miserable. Our first tactic was to saddle him with an absurd name. Given that our last name was Gay, we wisely suggested our parents name The Baby Benjamin. They almost took the suggestion until my father happened to be staring in his medicine cabinet and happened upon a tube of Ben Gay. “You guys,” he shouted, and we had to concede defeat. When The Baby was about five months old, we thought we could just stick him in the basement and leave him there. We swaddled The Baby in blankets, placed him in a laundry basket, and slid him down the wooden stairs into the unfinished basement. There is indeed a God for very small children. He laughed all the way down and lay in his new bed quietly until my mother, worried about all the quiet in the house, came looking for us. She found her two older children staring down at her youngest from the top of the stairs. She was not amused. When The Baby was 18 months old, we finally realized that he adored us and would do whatever we asked and that was a small comfort. One day, we took him in the kitchen, stood in front of a set of cabinets and told him to run toward us, head first, as fast as possible. The Baby curled his little fingers into tiny fists, hunched his shoulders and came barreling at us with his little head leading the way, so blind was his devotion. We moved out of the way. I still remember the sound of The Baby’s hard head against the cabinets.

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11 thoughts on “Look at this fucking writer: Roxane Gay

  1. This is why I am opposed to siblings existing. Ever. Only children should be mandatory.

    I’d rather have an elevated sense of self-importance than be traumatized by violence.

      1. I am mostly kidding, but — as an only child, the nonchalance with which some siblings describe completely horrible things — and I’m talking less abt Roxane (her story is kind-of darkly hilarious) than other siblings with whom I’ve spoken — they did to one another honestly shocks and upsets me. Serious, regularly-occurring violence (like punching! Broken skin! Blood drawn!) seems rather commonplace and accepted between many siblings and I’m all “Holy shit, wha!?”

        1. You do have a point. My brother and I were equally ruthless to one another. My dad loves telling a story wherein in, after my brother had beat me up earlier in the day, I snuck up on him while he watched TV and smashed him over the head with one of those old, steel Tonka trucks. I was 2 years old at the time.

          I’ve never really thought what this story might sound like to someone who never had a brother/sibling.

  2. Hahaha! I should say that The Baby is adored and even though he was tormented, my brothers and I are really close. The Baby actually lived with me for the past five years and just moved out this past summer. I made up for my youthful indiscretions!

  3. This all makes me very happy. I like thinking of you as a sister, Roxane. You’d make a good older sister (now that we’re all adults). Maybe you should be mine, too. I need one, sometimes.

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