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I Rode My Brother Like A Buffalo But I Don't Care

How I tamed what so many younger brothers couldn't

By Karlitos ThomasPublished about a month ago 6 min read
3

I remember it like it was yesterday. Ten-year-old me in the shopping centre with my mother and my brother. He was older and fatter than I was which made my idea, at this time, even better. Mother was perusing a local merchants shop and had left us unattended. I was leaning over the balcony of the top level of the shopping centre not far from her, looking down upon the people on the ground floor constantly dilly dallying about like ants whose line had been disrupted by a falling leaf. Once I had become bored of the state of capitalism I turned away from the balcony, and I saw him. There he was: my older, fatter brother; standing in the dead centre of a walkway. Looking around like a wild buffalo on the American frontier who had lost his heard but not so much bothered by it at all. Truly a site to behold. This is what the first settlers in America must have felt like upon seeing this symbolic living entity for the first time.

Now, my brother had muscle, but it was covered with a thick hide of fat, much like a buffalo. I had battled him many times in the past and was always somewhat, trampled under his fists and hooves. Some would say my knowledge of my brothers’ body type, movements, behaviour and eating habits would make me the closest thing to a ten-year-old buffalo expert in this shopping centre. Even though I had such respect for nature, it bothered me that he couldn’t be tamed. That’s when I realised that I had been doing it all wrong for years on end. I had been trying to let my confrontations be known to him but there he stood: undisturbed and unsuspecting. The perfect ambush. Man would soon tame beast.

I positioned myself in a running stance and sprung into a perfect dash. It had to be at the right speed otherwise, when I landed on his back, he would be propelled forward too hard and fall over; potentially taking me down with him and resulting in me receiving a broken leg or arm from being pinned down by his weight. I glided through the break in the crowd and launched myself like a spider monkey towards the land mass he called his back; him, still unaware of the taming of a lifetime. It was the perfect speed, launch and landing. He stumbled three steps forward, almost crashing through a store front, taking the perfect amount of wind out of him. “What the fuck?!” he bellowed as I screamed “I want to ride the buffalo!”. He began to flail trying to buck me from his back and I felt like Buffalo Jones from the movie ‘Buffalo Rider’.

Next came the hard part. Not many people know how hard it is to tame and calm a wild, fat fourteen-year-old boy which, at the time, I considered to be the same as a wild American Buffalo, but still, people stopped and looked on in awe as I worked my expertise. One man almost let out a “Get’im!” but saw that this was only the beginning. He couldn’t be too hasty, and neither could I. This could go either way. “Get the fuck off me!” he roared as he writhed his body left and right. I had to let him burn off what energy he had left from when he staggered forward upon my landing. To be honest, he almost threw me from him twice, but I managed to shift my weight back onto him by keeping one hand on one of his brooding shoulders. You should’ve seen me. It was glorious and truly a tremendous feat of endurance and strength to calm this behemoth. “Woah! Big fella! Woah!” I tried to say calmly. People were becoming more invested as this battle between man and animal continued. One man even came out of his shop to look while my mother, for some reason, was none the wiser to the commotion. These things come with raising two boys. It was just background noise to her along with ‘The Power of Love’ by Celine Dion playing on the shopping centres overhead speakers but in my mind, all I heard was ‘Cut 'em out! Ride 'em in! Ride 'em in! Cut 'em out! Cut 'em out! Ride 'em in, Rawhide!’ from Frankie Laines song ‘Rawhide’.

He slowly began to feign strength. People’s eyes were wide in astonishment because I had managed to stay on him for thirty seconds now. “Get off me!” he began to wheeze as his movements became slower and wearier as the seconds flew by. What felt like half a minute to him felt like an eternity to myself but, from his last noise, I knew he was getting weaker and his spirit was slowly fading. This once majestic creature that walked upon the land and confectionary aisles was soon coming under my command. Finally, as his wheezing became more and more prominent, he gave way and went down to one knee. The crowd gasped as my tone also became weak from the strength I had been exerting as my calming words of “Woah! Big Fella! Woah!” began to lose energy. He struggled to shake me once more before he went down on his second knee and the crowd gasped again while a security guard let out a cheering “Yeah!”. He was kneeling now. I had him… or so I thought. How foolish I was.

Suddenly, the flame inside him that I worked so hard to get down to a simmer had burst into a raging storm of hellfire as he let out an exhausted roar and he began to writhe harder than when he was on his feet. This frightened me. I had not expected to get this far but I couldn’t give up now. Not with all these people watching. I would surely be killed by this wild, fat gargantuan if I were to fail and myself and the crowd knew this. I held on for dear life as the volume of my calls to calm him began to match his calls of rage and possibly fear. Left and right, I swung as I lost my footing from around his waist that was wider than the parking lot where my mother had parked her Toyota wagon. The sweat was pouring from his large head, and I could feel it secreting from his shoulders and onto my hands, making them slippery. Then, as if the heavens were smiling upon me that moment, I managed to get my right foot back to his waist and with that came the left and finally, he had been sapped of what fire was left in him. The roaring hell storm in his soul had been brought down to gentle embers and, finally, he slowly began to sink forward onto his hands as I gently stroked his sweat drenched head and cooed “I’m not gonna hurt ya, I’m not gonna hurt ya”. His hands landed with a thud, and I sat amidst the buffalo I had, for years, tried to master.

People didn’t know what to say. I waved at them anyway; myself smiling at my brave act of lunacy. One woman went to clap but then thought twice about it and didn’t. As I got off him while stroking his perspiring back, my brother let out one final sentence between gasps for oxygen: “I’m gonna fuckin kill you” and he most certainly did when we got home. I paid dearly and just like me competing in this shopping centre rodeo, it went unbeknownst to my mother. I tried to relive that legendary moment, but they were never the same. My brother would just stand there, not giving me an ounce of his energy and calmly but sternly say “Get off.”

Unfortunately, for this cowboy, it ain’t a rodeo if they’re already tame.

I laid there in bed after the reckoning I received but I just laughed in pain within the dark and to this day, I still do. My wife will wake up in the middle of the night and tell me to shut up, but she’ll never understand the achievement I made that day. Nobody will and I don’t care if they did.

EmbarrassmentTeenage yearsFamilyChildhood
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About the Creator

Karlitos Thomas

I'm an old man with a lot of stories to tell because my wife has heard them all and can't stand them anymore. She found this website to shut me up, now I've locked myself in my study. She's literally banging on the door as I write this haha

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