📷: @cappadociaman .
You invite one of us, you invite the other. That's how it always was: We're twins, we come as a pair. Sister is my soul-friend.
Sometimes I imagine that after we die, we'll stay together in the sky, a constellation to give Gemini a run for their money. We'd sparkle much brighter. We would... but I fear not even death will separate her from the endless demands life levies against her. She always gives, Sister does. Always gives. It's her angelic calling, her Achilles’ heel... and it's been fifty years.
You know, there was a time when I couldn't conceive of an adventure without Sister? It's true. Whether we ventured next door to climb the neighbor's pear tree or took a school trip up to Maine, it was me and Sister, both of us.
I still chuckle about that high school trip to Maine. She was a homebody and I a hobo—and she whined, whined, whined about having to go on that long drive, leaving home. Just five days, Sister! God. Leave home and hearth for five goddamned days, can't you? She cried for leaving until I thought I'd sock her in the sides, but I didn't. Instead, I said, "Look at the trees, mountains! Down south we get no trees like that, it's nothing but flat." Sister never stopped sobbing... but her cries changed from cries of homesickness to cries of anger. "I never want to go home!" she wept. "I never want to go home again!"
We did go home. And we both cried for it. She was always duty, I was always daring. She married the next year, started having babies the year after... but now I knew: If anyone could get Sister to leave home and hearth and charge off after an elusive, foreign sunset, it was me. And I determined to do it one day.
But its been fifty years. As the needs around her grew, so did Sister's roots. She's unmovable now, even for me. And we're getting older... one day, we won't be trapped at home for the needs of those around us, but for the restrictions of our brittle bodies. She thinks I'm angry at her and it makes her feel bad. I do seem angry, I do. But if I say what I feel I'll crumble into tears, and I just wish she'd hear the plea in my heart: I want my sister back. I want my soul-friend.
Today I'm sixty-seven. We both are. I'm alone on my porch drinking unsweet tea. The phone rings.
"Happy birthday, Sister," she says. "Can we go to Maine?"
I can't speak or my heart will come out my mouth. I swallow it back down to its rightful place in my chest and wipe a stream of tears.
"Sister," I say, "I will fly you into space if you want to. Shine forever. Let our grandchildren marvel while we sparkle in the sky."
📷: @cappadociaman .