I have a twin brother.
Not that you would know that just by looking at us. We are as different as night and day and you’d never guess we came from the same gene pool. I’m 5’2″, slightly chubby and fighting a losing battle against hair that insists on turning white no matter how many times it’s colored. He’s 6′ with not one inch of body fat on him and what few grays he has are actually silver and look distinguished, damn it all to hell.
However, at one time we did have the same nose. The wonderfully odd, bulbous, strangely disproportionate, utterly huge Psyhos nose, courtesy of our father. My nose entered a room three seconds before the rest of me did and qualified for its own zip code. But it wasn’t anything that a little plastic surgery couldn’t fix and so the one physical attribute my brother and I shared was destined to be nothing more than hazardous medical waste. Thank you God.
Story has it that we were born one minute apart. My brother took it upon his eager little self to budge me and become first born, complete with a healthy set of lungs and good color. I followed immediately afterwards with caution, trepidation and worry, whereupon the doctor took one look at me, pronounced me “tense” and whisked all 4 pounds, 12 ounces of me off to the neonatal unit for a week and thereby set the course of my life.
From the beginning, my brother was outgoing and ready for adventure. I, on the other hand, was painfully shy and constantly worried about something, anything, even if there was nothing to worry about at which point I’d find something to worry about, even if it killed me.
My mother insisted from the get go that we develop our own friendships and not depend on each other for socialization as multiples tend to do. Unless her idea of socialization included beating the snot out of each other, she had nothing to worry about. In fact, any concerns my mother had of our dependence upon each other vanished over the course of our elementary school education as it became readily apparent that not only did we not need each other, we didn’t much like each other.
And so it lasted through high school. My brother acquired a vast array of friends, maintained average grades, mowed the lawn and became one hell of an athlete. I bit my nails, worried about the economy and airplane disasters, earned excellent grades and had a small, very tight circle of close friends. And except for a couple of intermittent screaming matches and an occasional punch in the gut, we pretty much ignored each other.
I can’t remember any specific event that changed all of that, but then again, I can’t remember the names of my children so take that for what it’s worth. Maybe we just grew wiser as we grew older and figured that if Armageddon were to actually happen, as I constantly feared, it might be kind of nice to know where the other one was in case we wanted to hang out until it was over.
We’re pretty close now, even though we live on opposite coasts. We’re still as different as night and day. He’s living the single life in Las Vegas, dating women with legs up to here and hair down to there, chilling out in an ultra modern, sophisticated condo and bartending at one of the most popular clubs in town. I’m living the suburban stay-at-home mom life, juggling playdates and band concerts, battling pool algae and a possessed washing machine. And while he’s rubbing elbows with the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, I’m challenging the basic principles of science by being in two places at the same time with two sets of hands and eyes in the back of my head like all the rest of the awesome moms out there.
Hey Tino … if you read this … call me. I miss you.