My older siblings landed on earth in the late 1970s and there’s a 10-year gap before you get to me. As a toddler I witnessed their comings and goings with a fanatical eye. I watched their hurried exits to part-time jobs at KFC, band practices and outings with their Cross Colours adorned friends. I waited anxiously for their returns from all the exclusive places and dens I imagined teens went.
Those years before they drifted away to college or the military birthed a want in me to reach that precipice of teendom before I could even mutter “present” in a kindergarten classroom. Many of my memories of the mid to late 90s are centered on that want. The television and music I ingested gave me TV-14 and Parental Advisory stickered insights into what my siblings’ lives looked like beyond our home. After I’d get my last squeeze of a hug from my never-not-interesting brothers and sisters, I’d turn on the boob tube to quell my questions.
Kenan & Kel
My Brother and Me
These shows helped me get a little bit closer to the world my siblings inhabited when the door closed behind them. Still, not one compared to stories they told me once they returned. Or the eavesdropping I had to resort to from time to time. Because questions need answers.