I have twin brothers, younger than me, and identical.
When they were hanging around my Mother’s neck like teensy, chittering monkeys, we used to tell them apart by the number of freckles on their ears (One dot for Twin One and two dots for Twin Two). In photographs Twin One was always on the left, Twin Two on the right, just in case we couldn’t tell who was who after they were printed on the Hanimex paper. But I could always tell. To me, they were and are different in so many ways. Maybe because they are mine.
Back in those heady days of natural conception, twins were rare and strange. And I suspect identical, tiny, olive-skinned, white-haired boys that flashed by you on bikes or skates or feet were unheard of. They seemed like little tornados, in constant whirling motion, picking things up and flinging them off as they razed the landscape. If you got too close you could be pulled into the vortex, and you’d think it was a lark, being close to The Twins and their energy, only to be spat out again. Only The Twins could endure. The landscape of Twinland had it’s very own postcode. Visitors were just that.
So I was The Twin’s Sister. I was, and still am, ‘Sissy’ to a whole generation of kids that now own homes, have children, have gone bald. Kids who can now buy their own beer from the Torquay Pub, they no longer have to beg me, but they still call me Sissy.
The Twins grew up, and first Twin One and then Twin Two went to live and love in countries far away. Countries filled with television and coke and fries and sport and sport and noise and hustle and opportunity and excess.
When Twin One left, my pericardium got a rip in it, but I thought it would heal, because I thought he would come back. And just to be sure, I held Twin Two as tight as I could, as a lure, as bait. I cleaved to him, for I knew that Twins such as these could not cleave. Yet somehow they did. Somehow that Twin One found the piece that fit, all the way over there, over amongst the loud.
It took Twin Two much longer to find his fit than I ever thought it would, and for that I am grateful. But even in knowing he would one day go, I wasn’t prepared for how much it would hurt as that rip became a gash. Perhaps there was scar tissue to come away. Perhaps it was because I knew this was it. Without bait or lure I couldn’t hope to snare them back across the Pacific.
They have found the partners, and the places that know them, and enrich them.
The have stepped into the lives that they were always meant to have. And when you meet these women- who are alike in so many ways, not twins, but similar enough that perhaps they could kind of, almost be- when you see how they complement my twins, when you hear how they speak of them, when you notice that they love them in all the ways you would want your tiny little preemies to be loved, you know that what is preferred and what is right are not always the same thing. That right is better. And that now you have two sisters. And that is even better still.
And then, miraculously, a little bit of that torn-up pericardium starts to itch.
And that means it is healing.