Revenge Of The Esther Bunny



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My little sister is named Esther and back when we were kids we started calling her Esther Bunny. Ever since we have given her all things rabbit – sweet right?

She is sweet.

I am her older sister and I am not.


When we were little- and pretty much if I can get ahold of her Easter Basket I would snap the ears off of her chocolate bunnies. I’ve even bought her chocolate bunnies, snapped the ears off and given it to her that way.

I use the word snap because I don’t eat the ears. I hate chocolate- heck even she does. But who wants to find a mutilated Bunny in the middle of their beautiful  jam packed Easter Basket lined with a bed of fake bright sparkly green grass and jelly beans?


That was just the start of my big sistering.

She had a little plushie pink cat she named Hamburger Helper.

I used to pop her cute little cat in the oven and I’d wait until she was happily doing something and then I’d casually ask her if she knew what we were having for dinner.

“No!” She’d scream  “Not Hamburger Helper!”

When she told the family she had nightmares about her “”Baby Alive” doll ( when you think about it, that was a weird name to give a child’s toy, what else could they call it? On the other hand, Es never actually named the doll, her name was Baby Alive ) coming to life and trying to kill her I felt that little click in my Big Sister brain click. When I saw her putting the doll in her closet under a stack of clothes ( neatly folded, she’s always been organized) the click turned into ringing bells.

I’d dig it out after she fell asleep and put it at the foot of her bed, on her nightstand, in hallway just outside of our bedroom door.

Apparently she’d start to scream when she woke up and saw it. I wouldn’t know.  I learned to sleep through it.


Revenge is a dish best served cold as we’ve been told.

The thing of it is, my Sister and my little Brother who should have mastered that skill after a lifetime of me never did the revenge thing.

So when my Sister scored points on me years later, I think she moved those times into her win column. I’m not sure she does it. I would.

For example:

My Sister who is my BFF by the way, is a cancer survivor. She was very young when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer and she and my brother in law had two little girls.

My Sister would do her treatments, give herself the next day off and hit her daily to do list the day after that. I come down with a cold and I order Dominos, walk around with wads of Kleenex and curse life for a week after I’m over it.

Anyway after her treatments she was over joyed because she went through early menopause. I envied her. No more riding the Crimson Tide for her. Plus, after what she’d been through the symptoms were a walk through the park for her.

So her screens were coming back clear and one day she calls me up and she’s angry, she’s in tears and she says in this horrible voice, ” Anita, it’s back”

My heart fell, my world crashed, I felt the air leave my body right alone with my soul.

Es is telling me about her talk with her Doctor, how she felt angry and cheated.

And then it dawns on me, ” Your Period is back.”

” Yes! That fucker came back! My Doctor, that idiot says that’s good. How can that be GOOD? How can such stupid people become DOCTORS?”

I was blind with rage. I said something about my husband just walking in and I’d call her right back. I hung up the phone and when I turned around Luis saw the look on my face and he actually backed away from me.

I’m pretty sure if he had been in possession of holy water, a crucifix and salt I’d have gotten hit with all three at once.

Score One For The Esther Bunny.


Es called me a couple of days ago, she’d left a message after I’d gone to bed and I played it in the morning.

She sounded like our Mom when she’s angry. So yes, my blood turned cold in my veins when I hear her say in this tight voice, ” Anita call me please.”

Of course I did and of course I go to voice mail so I tried the land line.


I even sent a text.


I spent all day wondering what had happened.

Finally I get through.

” Es, ” I jump into it right away ” I got your message. You sounded really upset. What’s the matter.”

I can’t tell if she’s laughing or crying or both.

” Oh my God. No. ” Es is hysterical. ” Anita, I was on the landline when I called because I was playing my casino game on my phone and I went from having millions of chips to hardly having enough to make a bet and I was really mad. I mean, I’m not playing real money ( of course she isn’t, that woman pinches pennies so hard they scream) but I hate to loose and oh my God!”

She’s driving and on the phone and I remind her how dangerous that is.

” Boy Es, if you were here, I’d pop you open like a ripe zit.”

I could have said anything at that point because she was too busy laughing.

When we got done on the phone, I had this image of her pulling her car over and calling our entire family about how she scored not one but three points on me  and made the bonus shot.

At least that’s what I would have done.

But she is the Esther Bunny and sweet as can be

and I am her big sister and I am not.

The Famous Ester Bunny ( left) and me: Sam's Town, NV

The Famous Esther Bunny ( left) and me: Sam’s Town, NV



One Small Breath


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“Do you remember, what it was like when we were faraway from here?” His voice echoed through the tomb.

” Do you remember the warm yellow Sun and the cool green grass and the smell of wet dogs and the taste of something that didn’t have enough salt in ? Do you remember what that was like faraway from here?”

Nobody answered.

 ” I remember the cold white moon and the blood rushing in my ears when I ran to fast and to hard and I remember the sound of my children crying when we found their Mother hanging from the tree in our backyard. Do you remember pain and how it felt when we were Faraway from here?”


” I used to laugh and I used to sing. I couldn’t sing a note but I did it anyway and when people would wince and look at me and the sounds coming up from my throat and out of my mouth, I couldn’t help it. I would laugh until my eyes watered and then blurred. I used to know how to have fun when I was Faraway from here.”


” I think I’m forgetting things now, bit by bit all of those things are leaving me and going Faraway. I think one day I will close my eyes and truly sleep. I will truly be dead.

I will be so faraway.

I wonder where Faraway is.”

The voice faded away, note for note.

When it was gone a chorus of weeping  moved through the shadows for a moment.

For one small  breath.




A Quiet Street


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They were a nice, traditional looking family and they lived right across the street from us.

There were three kids, like in our family, but the youngest was my age and the two older kids were 17 and 18.

I used to sit on my bike and watch them come and go, they looked like a family on tv- they were always smiling, always laughing always off to go camping or to see their relatives and sometimes they went to places like Disneyland and during the winter they packed up their skies and went to the mountains.

I had a secret crush on the big brother- he was an exceptional athlete, a Letterman, drove a sports car and worked at the corner market downtown.

And he hated the sight of me.

If I was riding my bike on the street he’d gun his engine and lay on his horn, he called me a little pig when nobody was around and when I was over at their house playing with my friend he’d walk by and glare down at me and ask what time was I leaving.

One summer he chased me and my Aunt out of the store and started screaming at us to stop.

My Aunt looked shocked when she looked up at him. She asked him what he wanted.

” Tell her to open her hands.” he said.

His face was red and the veins were pounding in his forehead.

” Tell her to open her fucking hands and show them to me.”

My Aunt started to yell for the manager, he was screaming for me to open my hands and when I wouldn’t,  he started to reach for me.

I opened my hands, which were empty and I slapped his hands away from me.

I turned and ran all the way home.


My parents went to the store with my Aunt to find out why this great all American Kid had something like a nervous breakdown right in front of me, my Aunt and a store full of people

We never got a reason, from what I was told.

I still wonder about that family, why my friend and her sister were sent away to live with their grandparents that summer.

Why  one night a year later the police came for the boy and why after that their house was sold and why when the parents moved away nobody ever mentioned them again.

I asked my Dad about them, the summer before he died and my Dad said, ” It’s too bad that the day you slapped him away you didn’t have a baseball bat in your hands.”