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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Aldous and Francis

     Aldous was always covered in crumbs and lint, or fluff, or bits of string, or dust or dandruff.  He had long ceased brushing away the detritus that clung to him like iron filings on a magnet.  In contrast his fraternal twin Francis suffered from a fastidiousness that verged on effete.  Francis picked and brushed and preened with expert hands.  Through constant obsessive effort he maintained a large wardrobe of black jeans and itchy turtleneck sweaters.
     Mary, their mother, loved her boys deeply and as equally as she could but against her will it was Francis who pulled harder on her affections.  Aldous was a fussy mother's worst nightmare.  No amount of spit and polish could banish the blob of mustard that alternated between corners of his mouth and occasionally his eyebrow.  As a grown man with a full beard and mustache Mary couldn't even look at him.  Thank God  for neat, trim, clean-shaven Francis.
     He could calm and soothe her every neurosis related to cleanliness just by entering a room.  It was like he was statically charged in reverse.  Cat hair, dust motes, and dirt visible or otherwise seem to flee before his tidy aura.  Stains dragged into the house by clumsy witless Aldous removed themselves from carpets, drapes, and upholstery whenever Francis was near.