"Siblings: children of the same parents, each of whom is perfectly normal until they get together."
"- Sam Levenson
Two people playing air hockey
(Image by marcoverch) Details DMCA
My sister and I stepped up to the table and were instantly transported back in time. We were no longer two adults past the half-century mark playing in a corporate arcade. Instead, we were a couple of kids just a few years older than the ones we had just been watching and we were set to do battle in my grandparent's garage while the adults visited upstairs.
I laugh to myself as I notice the plexiglass that divides the table in two. It is not hard to imagine what necessitated the protection from flying pucks; two people playing a game way too hard and the puck leaving the table into one of the player's faces. Mothers everywhere would claim that the person lost an eye.
The mallets (yes, that is what they are called according to the United States Air Hockey Association) are also different than I remember. The ones that we are using now have a protective lip over the front. My knuckles are thankful for this protection as I block a shot and the puck lifts off of the table. I can feel the sting as I remember not being so lucky as a child.
One game ends and another begins. I can feel the sweat starting to form and I laugh a little at the ridiculousness of the situation. Every time the puck crosses my sister's goal line it feels like a wrong from the past has been avenged. She scores and I feel the deep sting of utter defeat.
Two other people step up to play and we are forced to relinquish the table. We adjust to the fit of our present-day selves and continue our way through the arcade. We notice a game that simulates ax throwing and a new expression of our sibling rivalry begins.
"Two things in life that will never change, one is me for a sibling, and two is me reminding you you are getting older. Happy Birthday!"
"- Robert Rivers
Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He is an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and serves as the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him "a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles." For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.