Lance Young

by Lauren Young from Irvine, California in United States

The Laundry Basket

For my brother: my unintentional non-hero hero

When I was in 1st grade, my 2nd grade brother gave a school presentation in which he described me as “just a stranger who lived in his house.” This comic misunderstanding stems from the fact that I am my brother’s polar opposite. If he were peanut butter, I would be jelly. Our parents are bread; the only thing holding us together. People always say we look similar, but I don’t think that’s true. His almond, mono-lidded eyes, coarse hair, and blocky eyebrows are yet again, the complete opposite of my own features. In elementary school, he dressed like a highlighter. His neon shirts would always match his neon shorts, and his side-swept hair would just touch the tip of his glasses. He was the most cookie-cutter Asian-American nerd who could ever exist. Even in elementary school, I knew that I was the more fashionable one. 

Now that we’re both in high school, my desk is a tornado of colors and art projects while his bare one is as clean and uncluttered as a monk’s head. Various gaming paraphernalia such as headphones, controllers, and even a steering wheel and gas pedal litter his nook, while mine overflows with canvases, paintbrushes, and various art supplies. Throughout middle and high school, my brother was my standard. If he earned straight A’s in all of his classes, that meant that I had to earn straight A+’s. As the offspring of two Asian immigrant parents, academics were our priority, and my brother became my biggest yardstick even though he was a grade older. I looked up to him, which meant I wanted to do everything he did…but better. Maybe when we were both toddlers we got along best–time traveling to imaginary worlds in a laundry basket where he was the knight and I was the princess. We spoke in our own language as Mom watched us from across the kitchen island with a confuzzled look. The next day we were ninjas who battled evil, parkouring through enemy territory (i.e. our living room). But when we grew up, my brother transformed from a knight in shining armor to an alien who just lived on the same planet. I miss that laundry basket.


Page created on 2/15/2024 2:55:27 AM

Last edited 2/15/2024 10:28:12 AM

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Author Info

Lauren and her older brother have come to a mutual understanding to peacefully coexist. This is an upgrade from when Lauren was in 1st grade–when her brother gave a school presentation in which he described her as “just a stranger who lived in his house.” This comic misunderstanding stems from the fact that Lauren is her brother’s polar opposite. Lauren feels her brother now appreciates her artistry as she’s become her brother’s unpaid personal stylist to the point where Lauren’s friends think he has a good taste in fashion. He actually doesn’t. It’s all her. Muahahaha! In her spare time, Lauren paints actors’ faces with fake blood so they appear wounded for her school’s acclaimed TV show. When she’s not wrestling with a paintbrush, she admits she eats Skittles in complementary color order as that’s what an artist does. Lauren admits she talks to herself when no one else is around as it keeps her focused. Right now, her future is a cornucopia of intriguing unknown possibilities that hopefully will soon become known.