What Goes Unsaid

When my brother and I were little, we would play a game on our annual family road trip to Vermont that only we understood. (Others in the car thought they understood — but they didn’t.)

The game was called: “That’s You.”

The game required a good bit of delirium (it could only be played after hour 5 of the road trip) — and although only the two of us played the game, my parents, sister, border collie and hamster had no option but to be innocent angry bystanders to our howling laughter.

It was quite simple: as we would pass cars and trucks, one of us would exclaim “THAT’S YOU WHEN YOU GROW UP!” And we would take turns, alternating who was victim and who would shout, “that’s YOU!”

We would hold our breaths as we slowly gained vision of the driver, and burst into squeals as soon as we caught sight of who we’d grow up to look like. I’d have to hold my crotch to not pee myself. The best results were when a frumpy old man driving a truck was me, and a heavy set grumpy-looking woman was Tyler.

“I do not know how anything could be that funny,” our sister would say as we would buckle over in tears.

I remember getting tickly butterflies in my stomach anticipating who the next victim would be. If the person looked at us and smiled, our screeches were halted — confused — and the car would become quiet. *Exhale* “Okay, let’s try again.”

Occasionally would throw in, “Okay…the next person is DAD.”

The thrill of such a simple game.

The best part was how delirium, an often undesired state, was a prerequisite for the game. It lit the fire of a humor that only my brother and I seemed to understand. We were connected by this invisible knowing: what was so funny about it. We both are highly sensitive people with big imaginations, so, at least for me, when I saw an 80 year old man with a frumpy baseball cap and grouchily looking at the road, I would imagine Tyler or myself stuck in his body — driving that truck.

But, not being able to really articulate with words why it is so funny is also what is special about the game.

What I can explain is the main reason I loved this game: my favorite sound is my brother’s laughter and my favorite sight is tears in his eyes from laughter. I lived, and still live, for his laughter. And I know he does mine.

To this day, when we feel bogged down with the weight of adulthood, we make each other laugh with this shared humor. We both have gone through heaviness in our lives, and sometimes it feels like we are in sync. As one experiences a season of ease and momentum, so does the other. We both hope, daydream, and bob along for the season in our life when *that thing* we are each working towards is in fruition. We don’t often talk in detail about the heavy things, but similar to the humor, there is this innate knowing and understanding. The things that go unsaid.

In life, too often we feel as though we need an explanation.

For me, my brother helps me believe in the things that I cannot see — but I feel. He validates my way of existing in this world. Isn’t that what we all want? To not have to explain ourselves; to be seen in our utter existence; to believe in the good and not need reason or proof for trusting; to experience whole-body-joy without needing to explain how or why.

The best things in life are the things you can’t explain — you just feel them.

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