My sister wrote words on her skin using colored markers that streaked like blood. Her penmanship was a tiny scrawl, almost Asian-looking, and to be able to read it you had to get very close, with her permission, and she’d have to stop squirming.
It was hard not to shudder the first time I visited. I thought places like that were supposed to help the addicted, but my sister looked gaunt and ghoulish. When I inquired about the writing, she pulled her sleeves down and started crossing and uncrossing her arms until I glanced away. “It’s better than needles,” she said. Then she added, “You probably don’t even believe it anymore.”
“You and I being twins.”
We’d begun the same, then turned opposite corners with dull edges. The sharp edges had just come recently. Before, she was light and I was dark. I had a habit of destroying things: television sets, furniture, other people’s self-esteem. My sis sang sweet choir songs. She wore dresses while my parents glowed, making me no more than a birthmark, a shadow, some gutted placenta.
It was cruel the way I set her up with Devon. He always gave the first gram free, but I paid cash so she’d have five. By the fourth, she was circling Jupiter and I was washing up.
Now it does hurt a little to see what I’ve created, but I figure Sis will toughen up, sober up eventually. She might even sing again.