Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Dreading

My brother has a flair for the dramatic. Sometimes it's loud and flashy, and sometimes it's more subtle. When he has something serious to communicate, he lowers his voice and speaks with a soft, perfectly-controlled intensity. He drops his chin in broody Robert Pattinson form, his dark brown eyes staring out through pale lashes. He radiates tension. What he has to say is important.

Really important.

He applies this intensity a bit more judiciously as an adult than when he was small. When he was about five or six, he was given an assignment to compose a letter to a world leader. He chose the Queen of England. My job was to transcribe. I sat at the school table in the living room and waited, pen hovering over paper, for him to dictate.
"Your Majesty. No. Your Royal Highness. Your Royal Highness Your Majesty the Queen," he began, his voice lowering as he hit his stride, "My name is David and I am from America. I am sorry for the war that parted us--" he paused, trying to decide how best to butter up foreign royalty, and then continued: "--for the war that parted us, and I wish that, maybe, you would have won."

I threw the pen across the room.
"I AM NOT WRITING THIS DOWN!" I yelled with patriotic fury, and went and shut myself up in my room. Since he couldn't write yet, I think the letter never got finished and sent, unless our mother completed it for him. Hopefully this post doesn't get him in trouble with the US government; the last thing they need is a monarchist Border Patrol agent.
The coyotes won't know what hit them.


  1. I was six! My understanding of the concept of war was limited to people getting angry and killing each other!

    Plus I'd always been taught to be polite to people in authority. What's a six-year-old to write? "nanny-nanny-boo-boo we won?"