“I won!” I declared.
“Because you made me laugh,” Roger said, defeated. He was smiling, but he was always smiling, so I wasn’t sure if he was being serious. And God bless him if he was being condescending.
“You always say that,” I said. I had to defend myself because I know I won, all the fairs and all the squares.
We never named the game, but the winner was whomever pushed the other off the bed first. Of course, we weren’t all crazy and violent, but we did wrestle with all our might, and I think he actually tried. (And he was strong!) Either way, I choose to believe he did.
It was such a regular occurrence that I can vividly remember Tyler coming into the room, wrestling guys in hand, asking us for something, and he wasn’t concerned or even amused by us.
I used to wrestle with my brothers, and my friend Kim when we were little, and it was so fun wrestling with Roger (Remove your mind from the gutter.), just the regular wrestling when you use some of your muscles in syncopation with the other ones. The wrestling where your faces look ugly, and you feel it the next day. I remember looking in one direction to distract him. “Look!” And maybe I pretended to get hurt once in awhile to trick him. That still counts! There’s no rule book.
It didn’t get dirty like with sibling wrestling. I think we all know that type of story, like when you sit on your sibling and pretend to spit on them. The drool string gets longer and longer and the defeated brother or sister whips their head back and forth in an attempt to avoid the rope of saliva coming their way. Our wrestling was all muscle and wit, just like WWE.
I supposed I can make the call on who the winner was for each of our matches that he never won, and it’s me. So what if he lost because I made him laugh, he still lost, right? And even though he was physically stronger and I was then, I used my wits. I wanted that win.
And in some ways I remain the winner, because I can close my eyes, and clearly hear him laugh so uncontrollably the pitch becomes high, and then no sound because he really wants to beat me. I really hope there are beds in heaven, ones with bright yellow, floral comforters and a million cheap pillows so Roger and I can wrestle. I need to show him once and for all that I am the true champion and I deserve a shiny metallic belt that he can buy for me at Walmart. Hopefully, he’ll grab a king size Whatchamacallit for me, too.