We are twins, my brother and I, fraternal of course (the comic possibilities of the other sort being unnecessarily preposterous). For eight and a half months we shared a womb. My brother took up the lion’s share of the space while I folded myself into leftover gaps, fitting my fingers and toes into unoccupied corners like the grub of an insect under tree bark. It was a pattern that continued after our births. I emerged first, but instead of an invigorative glistening of wings I found myself hardly able to unfold at all and it was only a daily regimen of stretching exercises which prevented me curling up completely, exercises to which even now, as we approach our forty-second years, I am bound.
It was my brother who blossomed after leaving the womb or, to be more precise, continued to blossom. I continued on the same trajectory too, not blossoming but clinging to a course somewhere further from blossoming than its opposite. Having had first pick of every available (cubic) inch on the inside, he now carried on in the same vein. Sweet, charming, athletic, curly-haired, he can be seen in a myriad of photographs, confident of all the good things that are his due while I, an awkward confusion of head and limbs, tend to grimace with the sheer effort of unwinding. A point of irony, which I mention for those with a taste for such things, lies with our hair; his being the only thing about him that curls, mine about me that does not. Somehow our mother, in scant compensation perhaps ...
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