Sunday, February 09, 2014


Being born a chiral twin means that you have acted as a mirror for another human being since conception. If you are right-handed, she is left-handed. Even your crooked teeth mirror one another. It also means that if you creep up behind your mother as a toddler while she is looking in the mirror, she may likely mistake you for your sister.

When my sister and I were very tiny, we created our own unique dialect in which to babble and prattle away to one another, although I do not remember a syllable of it.

I do recall the day it was decided that she and I were too big to share a crib. A new white crib was purchased and assembled, and I was relegated to this cage. I stood up and grabbed the bars of the crib, hoping it would rattle as satisfyingly as the old brown crib. Nothing doing. The new crib held firm. My sister shook the bars of her crib, and they clattered as usual, while I fumed in vain.

We had our twin rules and rituals. When we went walking along a road, she chose the left side; I was relegated to the right side. Because she was the dominant twin, I labored for a long time under the impression that being left-handed was somehow superior to being a righty. Mr. Right and Mr. Left held debates on every subject under the sun. Lefty won most of the arm-wrestling matches.

So inseparable were we, that if one of us watched a cartoon or film at a neighbor's home that the other had missed, we would describe it in such detail, whispering away surreptitiously in the evenings, that to this day, I am not absolutely sure which of us watched The Robe, or a certain Batman episode.

Although we have audited many semesters of lessons in the school of disillusionment, my sister and I cannot quite comprehend why the rest of the planet does not follow this simple equation for the division of, say, a piece of chocolate, a cookie, or any other piece of real estate: either you cut, I pick--or--I cut, you pick.

My tendency has been tend to shrug and admit defeat: if you're going to take the whole pie, you might as well. In the meantime, I'll step into a mirror-world.

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