In Toni Cade Bambara’s story “Raymond’s Run” Squeaky takes care of her older brother Raymond, who lives with developmental delays. This is her family contribution which allows her mother to care for their home.
While caring for Raymond, she often takes him for walks in the city. Squeaky practices her breathing and high stepping with Raymond tagging along. Unfortunately, there are times when he pretends the curbing along the road is a tight rope, or he plays in the puddles. If he goes home with wet pants legs, Squeaky is disciplined for Raymond’s actions. There are times he runs into traffic and out onto the island in Broadway causing the pigeons to scatter. These actions upset the people who are eating lunch or just relaxing in the sun, and Squeaky must make amends. Therefore, Squeaky devised a system to have Raymond walk on the inside between her and the buildings. This system keeps Raymond safe and Squeaky in her parent’s good graces.
So I keep Raymond on the inside of me, and he plays like he’s driving a stage coach which is OK by me so long as he doesn’t run me over or interrupt my breathing exercises, which I have to do on account of I’m serious about my running, and I don’t care who knows it.