“Go Cheetah, get banana. Hey monkey, get funky!” an electronically enhanced voice bellows out of the speakers as a deep techno base beats in the background, making the entire car vibrate every moment the thump chimes in time to the music. Suddenly the music starts to build up, rising in pitch and pace. That is when my brother and I glance at each other with a knowing glint in our eyes and an excited smile outstretched on our faces. We wait patiently in expectation for what is about to come. Then, as if by cue, we both burst out singing along with the music. “OY-YOY-E-YOY-YOY-YOYIYOY-E-YAY! My name is Tarzan, I live in jungle, I like to ride elephants!” We sing along with the goofy lyrics loudly and poorly, ignoring any sense of rhythm or tone. We sing with enthusiasm, laughing at the weird looks we get from strangers in cars driving next to us. When there is a red light, we even use the opportunity to incorporate a few ridiculous and over the top dance moves in rhythm with the techno beat.
The entire time we are smiling and choking down uncontrollable laughter. Perhaps it is because of how funny we must look to everyone else, singing at the top of our lungs to a foreign techno track about Tarzan and Jane. Or perhaps it is because we do not care about how we look or sound, and self-consciousness is nonexistent. Instead, we do what feels right. However, most important of all, my brother and I smile throughout the entire song because we are together.
This is what I believe in. I believe in having someone with whom I can sing at the top of my lungs with. In these close relationships, where love is infallible and nothing needs to be explained, lies tremendous and ineffable importance. My brother has always been that person for me. He is my greatest supporter, closest confidant, and harshest critic. He brings out my greatest strengths and constantly helps me become a better person. It is our close bond that makes me continue to embrace compassion for others and to stay true to my values. While I have many other beliefs, without the support and connection with those closest to me, they are irrelevant and unachievable. Throughout everything, it is the loving, understanding, and appreciative relationship between my brother and I that drives me in life.
So, while singing along to techno may seem unimportant to others, when my brother and I sing along with “our” song we are actually embracing the unspoken and significant connection between us. It seems as if, no matter the distance or time my brother and I spend apart, singing the Tarzan and Jane song always brings us together in a demonstration of how much we care about each other.
Thus, as the song comes to an end, with our faces flushed and our eyes twinkling, we glance at each other acknowledging that the moment is nearing an end. Then my brother leans over, presses repeat, and looks at me with a smile on his face, as if to say: Not all good things need to come to an end. Or, at least not yet. With that we laugh as the synthesized voice blares through the speakers, “Go cheetah, get banana. Hey monkey, get funky!”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.