‘The Wellman Twins’ by Mary Robison

The Wellman Twins by Mary Robison, 1983

The magic trick:

Making a focused but not overbearing point

This is a sweet, brief character study. A pair of twins – recent graduates of the University of Rhode Island – talking, arguing, joking, bonding, arguing some more. They may look the same, but in most other ways, they are different. Bluey, the boy, is sheltered, while his sister, Greer, is a bit more adventurous.

Everything in the story, especially as you look back over it, points in this direction. It’s unified but not overbearing.

And that’s quite a trick on Robison’s part.

The selection:

An hour later, when Bluey went to the living room, Deuce was allowing his haunches to be used as a pillow for Greer’s head. They were on the sofa. Both drunk, Bluey decided.

“Good,” he said. “Savor the fruits of your labor. I’m jealous, I guess. Not about the money, but I can’t believe the nerve it must take to stand up and perform in front of a live audience. Courage, I mean. Real people who can react, good or bad, right there to your face. Did you give Deuce some Mumm’s?”

“Oui,” Greer said.

“Congratulations on the sixty-seven dollars, anyway,” Bluey said.

“Who’s this different person from an hour ago, Deuce? Do we know this guy?” Greer asked the dog.

“I like your clothes, too. I like those fatigue pants,” Bluey said.

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