Quincy is my brother. He was born today, May 27, exactly 38 years ago. I was an only child until that day, and when my Mom brought him home from the hospital and showed him to me, I started bawling.
Life with Quincy was quite interesting. He was bigger than me because he ate more food, and therefore declared himself the eldest. He got into a lot of trouble. A lot more, perhaps, if I didn’t protect him as much as I did. There was this one time when we moved the mattresses up on the wall so that we could slide down them, and to get to the top, we had to climb our jalousies. Quincy grabbed on a glass plate and it broke and he fell on the floor with all the glass, gashing his elbow. I swear, you could see the bone. We tried to hide it from the rents when they got home, but our yayas were not keen on the pretending-it-didn’t-happen scheme.
I would say Quincy was a burden I had to bear, but I bear that burden without complaint because I’ve caused him actual physical harm on two occasions. I don’t remember why, but there was this one time that I ran after him with a broom – a walis tingting, which is made of sticks, not soft straw – I suppose I had threatened, “You’re gonna get it!” and he giggled all the way down the street. It irked me so much that I threw the broom at him, and spiked his leg. Another time, he said something really unforgivable and I threw a pair of scissors at him, and it struck his collarbone. We laugh about it now, but they made sure I curbed my tendency for violence. Quincy jokes that if I had super powers, I would be Bullseye.
Quincy was my first pas de deux partner. He was always on my case about being heavy, and I believed for a good chunk of my life that I was a heavy dancer. During rehearsals, we would argue while dancing, and we didn’t know how much we amused people by arguing yet not missing a beat in the steps. Our first pas de deux was the Le Corsaire slave pas de deux without Conrad. I guess I took his being my partner for granted until he was my partner when we performed the first waltz from PBT’s Raymonda, just as I was recuperating from my first ever ankle sprain. Without even one grumble about my being heavy, he just made it feel like I didn’t touch the ground at all. He was wonderful.
He’s been living in the US for the last 13 years, and hasn’t been back since. If I gave birth the year he left the country, it would be a teenager now. It boggles the mind. I had to watch him become this awesome man only over Skype. But yeah, thank God for Skype.
I’m so proud of you, Qunicy. I love you and I’ll see you soon.