April 17, 2005

Pairs of Brothers

Agents 95 and 97 are in the back seat of the car, and we’re talking about how well they’re growing.

“I weight seventy–eight pounds,” Agent 95 says.

“So I weight sixty,” calculates Agent 97. “I always weigh eighteen pounds less than him.”

“Always?” I ask.

They assure me it’s true.

It reminds me of something that happened long ago, during the childhood of their role models, Agents 81 and 83. The two of them – they must have been five and three, something like that – had been playing for a long time in the backyard and on the sidewalk of the faculty housing development. The screen door clatters open and they storm in.

“Hey guys, want a drink of water?” I ask.

“We’re not thirsty,” says Agent 81 suavely as they sweep past, upstairs into their room. Agent 83 does not dissent.

We’re not thirsty! So close, they could speak for each other’s throat.