13 Memories with Hyperion

It's Hyperion Day! What could be better? I want to thank everyone who sent gifts and well wishes (and those who still plan to; hint hint), and I'd like to assure whoever sent me live squirrels that yes, they did survive.

I have been Hyperion for 13 years now, and if you'd like to read how that all came about, you can go here.

Also, Lady Jane Scarlett has very sweetly declared today International Bow down to the Hyperion Day. She said it, not I.

I had a big plan for today, but when that did not work out I was left scrambling for today's column. My youngest sister offered to step in and write a list of 13 memories of me, as long as I promised not to edit her words in any way. I was immediatelysuspicious , but the writing whore in me (who realized this meant I didn't have to come up with something myself) won out. The rest of the words all hers, but I would like to completely disavow the following damnable lies.


My Brother, or the Once and Future King, as I affectionately call him, has been the most influential person in my life. He is ten years my senior and as such has had the privilege, nay the duty to instruct and mold me into the perfect protege. When that didn't work out he settled with having a doting audience. He has been there for the most wonderful and often embarrassing moments of my life. On this the 13th year of his rebirth we celebrate and give thanks for his presence in our lives. I give you in no particular order:

13 memories with Hyperion

When I was younger, between 3 and 5, our family went away on vacation. We stayed at a Holiday Inn for part of the time and it was awesome. Next to the pool there were pool tables and the whole family was amused. One night we were all gathered around the hot tub and I wanted to be on the other side with my mom. It didn't occur to me to get out and walk around, or maybe I couldn't I can't remember. Well I jumped in and sunk to the bottom right in the middle, not realizing it was deeper. From what I was told at first no one saw me. Then a few seconds later they came to and before my mother or father could react my BIG BROTHER, reached in and yanked me out. I did not know how to swim and could have died. I remember the room and the feeling of going under. I also remember Hype saving me. He would never admit to actually preventing my grizzly death, but prevent it he did.

When Christmas rolled around my brothers would help my sister and me write our letters to Santa. Hype always helped me, with me sitting on his lap. I think he resented doing this until he figured out a cunning way of turning it to his advantage. I was far more naive and could be manipulated into putting Beef Jerky on my list, multiple times. When I was too young to read I have a suspicion that that was all he wrote. His response now "Good Times."

We lived in Albany, Oregon for a few years and along the edge of the neighborhood there ran a canal. I wasn't allowed back there so I always wondered about it. My brother often watched us kids when the parents were off "working," whatever that means. He developed a system to make me behave and I snapped to. When I wouldn't clean up or go to bed he would threaten to throw me in the canal. This became the saying and I believed him wholeheartedly. I didn't find out till much much later that it was actually a tiny stream about 2 feet deep. It didn't have alligators like the ones that haunt my dreams. He maintains it was much higher in 1989, but global warming is a bitch.

Hype always read the paper and looked through the mail growing up. I used to be so proud that he gave me the job of running to the end of the driveway to fetch it for him. We made a game of it and he would time me to see how fast I could be. I tried for years to beat yesterday's time and even as I got older still happily did this chore. When I was nearly an adult I was told that actually he made up the time EVERY day! The whole family was in on it!! Now the thought of mail makes me develop a small twitch.

When we lived in Lovejoy, GA during one of our parents trips he was staying in their room in order to be closer to the kids he was supposed to be watching. One rainy morning my sister and I needed a ride to school. We crouched by the door and knocked slowly. We held our breath as we heard the roar from the other side. "WHAT???" We told him we could use a ride and we were sorry to wake him. After repeating this a few times it sunk in and he answered my sister's question. "If you knock again I will crush the skulls of your unborn children!" It is was very scary to a 4'6 kid whose love for her brother was always coupled with a healthy fear. The threat soon was a family saying and still my sister won't wake Hyperion.

Hyperion often had the job of carting one or many of his siblings to wherever they needed to go. He took me to the rollerskating rink one Friday when I was 12 or so. The rink was the place on Fridays and very little skating happened. Mostly we talked and pretended we were much older than we were. The thing to do was to meet a boy and "go out." If you ended up making out in some dark corner then you were the envy of the 6th grade. I had several friends that were a little more progressed than I and I took my cue from them. I had my first kiss and later my first make out, by the air hockey table, and I thought I was so grown up. When my brother came to pick me up with his girlfriend at the time he asked what I had been up to. He always knew, it was annoying. I told him the G rated version and he was outraged. His girlfriend tried to explain it to him but nothing was going to stop him from using the 20 minute car ride home to rant. It resembled a scene from Footloose, only funny. I never will forget thinking despite the overprotective instinct, my brother really cared about me, as I shook my tiny fist.

Movies. This has been at the center of my relationship with Hype. Early on he decided I was going to be educated, and he has spent every day we have spent together trying to achieve this. WhenAFI came up with it's list of the 100 best movies of all time, He told the younger siblings that we would watch them. ALL of them. We skipped the ones we had seen already and never finished because of moving, but it started me on the path of good movies and to this day I think I have a better taste than seen in most people my age.

He took me to several movies as a young child and the memories have never faded. We went to see Mulan and I remember him crying from laughing so hard at Mushu. When he took me to see Something about Mary I was 12 and I didn't think I would be able to get in. The ticket guy, who of course was hot, asked to see my ID. Hype stood there knowing full well that it was just a formality, but I still had to show the hot high school guy my 6th grade I.D. My face could have rivaled the AMC sign it was so red. In the movie there was an awkward moment with...hair gel...my brother sighed with relief when he realized I didn't understand what I was laughing at. I was sheltered, Don't Hate! Then Harry Potter became our thing. We saw them at the first midnight showing and would organize dinner and snacks that we could not possibly eat in 3 weeks let alone 3 hours. As I got older the movies became more frequent and it's the best part of my week when we squeeze in the latest showing of whatever is worthy of us being in the audience.

During our stay in Canada I asked Hype to watch Silence of the Lambs with me. I had never seen it and wanted someone with me. He insisted on turning off the lights. Not to create the movie theater aspect like he said, but to silently try to scare me by putting his hand on my neck and making a slithering sound. I was so angry with the frequent chills that came from this that I went straight to my room after the movie. A few minutes later I saw his fingers under my door and I heard the soft hissing sound. Even now he will do this if we have had a disagreement. It's his form of an olive branch.

He often tried to surprise me. In Canada this developed into his stacking furniture outside my door. He would even put our stuffed hippo on top of the pile. It mocked me. This never got old for him, since he shared the refurbished basement with me and could watch the whole thing. When we moved into our current house he put this basket from Kenya that holds games outside my door. It only reaches my knee and I didn't see it. I not only hit it but completely flipped over it landing on my back. He likes to call it basket-gate. Yeah...good times.

His favorite author is the late great Robert Jordan. When he passed I suggested we go to Outback and celebrate his books and how much we loved them. It was one of our best meals. The parents joined us mid appetizer and we shared and laughed. This will forever be the method to deal with grief. Say what you want about feeding the pain, a good idea is a good idea.

I care about what my brother thinks. I actually care a little too much. When I date someone I end up talking about it to him, as much as he loathes these little chats. When I went through a particularly painful breakup at 19 my brother was the one that helped. He drove me to get essentials (grape soda, Doritos, ice cream) rented movies and spent time with me when my best friend wasn't able to get out of work. I was miserable, Kristi couldn't get away to help, and he had things to do. Nevertheless he spent the night keeping me laughing. That is the kind of brother he is.

I saved this memory for last because it is just perfect. In 1996 Romeo & Juliet came out. Opening night there was a late show in downtown Atlanta. Too late for me in fact, yet I was getting to go. He took my sister and myself to see this movie. We got snacks and walked in with the crowd. I remember thinking how cool my brother was. We sat in the packed theater and cheered with the audience as the movie started. There my love of Shakespeare began. Then 2 minutes in my sister asks very loudly "Why are they talking like that?" Hype was mortified and tried to explain it to her. I was so proud that I was watching the movie and was determined to enjoy every minute. I went home that night and read it at age of 10. This was one of the best nights of my life.

My brother Hyperion has taught me all I know about movies. He taught me how to take medicine and came between me and disaster countless times. He has helped me learn how to cook and bought me the stuffed animal I prize above all other possessions. He is my teacher, support system and partner in crime. He is my idol. He is my hero. He is my Hyperion. Go get your own.

Sniff Sniff


Anonymous said...

Now if only someone could come between him and disaster.

Dragon said...

You are a great little sister! Happy Hypey day, oh great one.

Lady Jane Scarlett said...

Happy Hyperion day! You know you are a great man to merit such a nice tribute. Way to go Sis!

Anonymous said...

Happy Hyperion day! I was blessed to room the the great one for a short time in Atlanta, and I can describe him in one word: ta'averen!

Anonymous said...

A very fitting and well written tribute. Way to go Jaimers and Happy Hyperion Day Hyperion.
Lady P

Anonymous said...

Nice tribute to a great guy.