We were just beginning to hammer out the new terms of our relationship when my marriage went into a skid. It would have been so easy for Catherine to have gained victory from my defeat. I'd always been the loved and lucky one, the favorite of both family and destiny. The world had always been a more comfortable and welcoming place for me than it was for my sister, who pressed so sharply against life and who was hurt by it fairly hard sometimes in return free rental platform.
responded to my divorce and depression with a: "Ha! Look at Little Mary Sunshine now!" Instead, she held me up like a champion. She answered the phone in the middle of the night whenever I was in distress and made comforting noises. And she came along with me when I went searching for answers as to why I was so sad. For the longest time, my therapy was almost vicariously shared by her. I'd call her after every session with a debriefing of everything I'd realized in my therapist's office, and she'd put down whatever she was doing and say, "Ah . . . that explains a lot." Explains a lot about both of us, that is set up company in hong kong.
Now we speak to each other on the phone almost every day--or at least we did, before I moved to Rome. Before either of us gets on an airplane now, the one always calls the other and says, "I know this is morbid, but I just wanted to tell you that I love you. You know . . . just in case . . ." And the other one always says, "I know . . . just in case."
She arrives in Rome prepared, as ever. She brings five guidebooks, all of which she has read already, and she has the city pre-mapped in her head. She was completely oriented before she even left Philadelphia. And this is a classic example of the differences between us. I am the one who spent my first weeks in Rome wandering about,
90 percent lost and 100 percent happy, seeing everything around me as an unexplainable beautiful mystery. But this is how the world kind of always looks to me. To my sister's eyes, there is nothing which cannot be explained if one has access to a proper reference library. This is a woman who keeps The Columbia Encyclopedia in her kitchen next to the cookbooks--and reads it, for pleasure.
There's a game I like to play with my friends sometimes called "Watch This!" Whenever anybody's wondering about some obscure fact (for instance: "Who was Saint Louis?") I will say, "Watch this!" then pick up the nearest phone and dial my sister's number. Sometimes I'll catch her in the car, driving her kids home from school in the Volvo, and she will muse: "Saint Louis . . . well, he was a hairshirt-wearing French king, actually, which is interesting because . . ."