I have finally figured out why I’ve been feeling so sick today. I thought I was feeling stressed about moving the blog to WordPress but one could hardly feel as sick as I did over something so relatively unimportant. So I called my sister in Montreal and told her I was feeling sick.
“Yeah, I know,” she said. “Can’t eat, can’t sleep, feel really weak and listless, can barely move and generally feel like you’ve been hit by a train, right?”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s me,” she said. “I’ve been suffering from this virus that makes me feel this way.”
My sister and I are very close. We have been forced to live in different countries for years now. But we are still completely involved in each other’s lives. We talk on the phone for hours at least once a day and discuss every aspect of our lives. It took a while for the men in our lives to get used to the idea that we have such a presence in each other’s daily existence. Since we have had this extremely close relationship for 29 years, we are now perfectly attuned to each other. If I bang my knee against a table, my sister calls me next day to inquire why her knee is suddenly swollen and hurts. We often discover that we both ordered the exact same thing for lunch in restaurants that are located in different countries. If she parties a little too hard, I get a hangover. If I get annoyed at my students, she gets into a vile mood at the same time for no apparent reason. If a Russian-speaker heard our conversation, I have no doubt s/he would find it impossible to understand what we were talking about. We interrupt each other and – pardon the horrible cliche – literally finish each other’s thoughts. Our conversations often sound as follows:
“Remember that time when. . .”
“Yes, but that wasn’t even the worst one.”
“I know! How about that other time?”
“Oh, come on. That was nothing compared with. . .”
“Yes, that was something. What was his name?”
“No, I mean the other one?”
“The one who. . .”
“No, that other one.”
So now I’m paying for all that closeness by suffering the after-effects of my sister’s virus.