My True and Hidden Nature

True story: Eli and I went to see the touring King Tut exhibit at the ROM when we were kids (I think he's back now, or coming back soon - must take my own kids!). My mother thought it would be educational to buy the guidebooks to the exhibit so we could read about it afterwards. Eli was very interested in every aspect of the exhibit - except the mummies, specifically their faces.

So my mother, in her great compassion for her beloved son (she always loved him more, or at least it seemed that way), marked with a paperclip the places in the two books (only one was full colour; that was my favourite) where the mummy-skulls appeared. I think she may have originally clipped those pages together with other pages so they wouldn't fall open, but I had a better idea.

Because what those paperclips meant to ME, and perhaps to anyone who's ever had a baby brother, was TORTURE!!!

Yes, it's true.

The paperclip pages became the "peek-a-boo!" pages: of course. Whenever I was doing something and wanted / needed to get Eli out of the playroom, or just generally do my bidding, I'd haul out The Books. And slowly start to open them up... straight to the paperclips.


He would look away, or run away, or do whatever I wanted. Yay, me!!!

Every story in my life used to begin with Eli and I. My mother's, with "Jennifer and Eli." He was my dark twin for years; not exactly the same age in numbers, but smarter and better at everything, so that by the time I was old enough to remember, he'd easily made up for the 15-month difference.

Now I can know people for years and they'll eventually say, "I didn't know you had a brother! I thought it was just the three girls..."


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