Ed Laird – Through a Looking Glass Darkly

First it was Romulus and Remus.  And then it was just Remus.  She took Romulus to Tupelo at the start of the Great Disagreement and kept him after the Great Divorce.  Twins were never meant to be separated, even if they were just Siamese cats.

The living room was lifeless and void.  She had taken most of it.  Hers.  I thought to erase twenty years of memories by redecorating, adding a new sofa and chair from Goodwill and recycling a large mirror over the sofa that moving friends had contributed.

Remus stood on the sofa back and starred at Romulus and then back at me.  He repeated the futile inquiry all afternoon.  The next morning he was back on the sofa, but now with caterwauls, trying to make sense of it all: a bridgeless abyss, a soul mate denied.

He hopped down and went searching into the room behind the mirror, returning and questioning.  Over and over.

“Like everything, my friend, it’s a distortion,” I said.  “Neither here and neither there.  Neither true nor false.”

I picked him up from the back of the sofa and placed his nose against the mirror.  Carrying him into the adjoining room, I pressed his face against the opposing blank wall.

“You are merely seeing a darkened reflection of your own inner projections.  Phantom pains.  Just an illusion.”

Remus climbed back on the sofa and continued to stare into the mirror and then at me.

“You’re lying,” he said.

He always had to have the last word.

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