The basement of my childhood home comprised the entire footprint of the house—thirty by sixty feet. In the corner just left of the staircase as you descended was the hollowed-out remains of an old riding lawnmower. My older brother had painted it green—a racing green I guessed. On a day when he was not jamming with his friends in his psychedelic band, I was able to compete for his attention and win. We took turns pushing each other in the makeshift go cart in a long oval the full length and breadth of the basement. The smooth cement floor marred with numerous long, black skid marks was a testament to the times my brother and I could actually forget the six-year difference between us and just let our mutual exuberance fill the cavernous bottom area of the house.
Now, as a middle-aged man, I can see the time together in all its dimension, like I could reach out, grab one of the long black skid marks, tear it from the burnished grey floor, and eat it like a strip of licorice as I watch my brother push me so fast that I nearly lose control, tipping the go cart up several inches so that only two knobby tires touch the floor. Best of all in those years was our hard laughter and for me to see him smile in a way that assured me that he and I were one, regardless of the many times he had told me to go away and leave him and his friends to their own laughter, which I could only hear from a distance while thinking how nice it would be when we would once again look at each other and grin before we headed downstairs, imitating sounds of racing cars.