dontravis.com blog post #596
Thank you for allowing me to remember Bobbi Adams in last week’s post. I miss my friend very much, and posting about her helped. Again, thanks.
As I also indicated last week, my Okie buddy, Mark Wildyr asked to post his short story, “Yip, Yap, and Yup” starting this week. It runs contemporaneously on his markwildyr.com site.
Without further ado, here, we go.
By Mark Wildyr
I should tell you right away that we’re triplets… or so our parents insist. I think we’re twins with an add-on. Yap and I are identical, Yup might not even be a member of the family, much less the third triplet. That’s given me some heartburn over the years, I can tell you.
Our first photograph showed three peas in a pod. Dressed alike and looking alike... that is to say, wrinkled up little faces without any definition. The second one, a year later would get a passing grade. Dressed identically with pretty much the same kisser. By the third one, something was off. The duds were still the same, but one of the faces looked to be taking a different path toward maturity. Not a bad path… just a different one.
By the time we entered kindergarten, the difference was plain. That’s when we picked up our nicknames. Actually, we’re John, James, and Joseph Karlosian, but when Mom’s brother saw us for the first time, he shook his head and pronounced me as Yip, my identical as Yap, and the other as… well, Yup. Why those monickers? I have no idea, but that’s been who we’ve been ever since.
It’s not just the family who gets thrown for a loop by the physical difference. The kids in our group tend to treat me and Yap as a pair and Yup, well, not so much. And maybe that’s the source of the heartburn I mentioned earlier. I’m a part of a team, whereas Yup’s his own individual. He doesn’t even dress like us. Course, Yap and I have different tastes in clothing styles now that we’re seniors in high school, but, dammit, you know what I mean.
To be honest, it’s gotten to me this year more than earlier because Cynthia Sharpe started seeing both Yup and me. When I tried to put a stop to that, she looked me right in the eye.
“I know it’s weird. Yip. I like you and all, but when I’m with you, it’s like I’m dating Yap too. If you couldn’t make it one night, and Yap stepped in to cover for you, would I even know?”
“Course you would. We’re not that much alike.”
She fed me a line I’d come to hate. “Two peas in a pod. When I’m with Joey, I don’t feel like that. I’m seeing one guy, not two.”
Geez! She didn’t even call him Yup. He was Joey. But I was still Yip and my identical was still Yap. I tried to salvage things. “Hey, we have a good time when we go out, don’t we?
She nodded. “When I’m not feeling weird.”
“Come on, Cindy, let’s go steady. Look at it this way. With me, you get two for the price of one.”
She just glared at me. “That’s sick, Yip.” With that, she walked away, leaving me to watch her graceful gait, a sight that left me hungry for more and totally pissed at my disparate brother.
It got worse. We all made the basketball team, but Yap and Yup get playtime while I warm the bench. Once, Yap and I switched uniform tops so I wore his number and played without the coach knowing. Did okay too, until I fowled out. And when “Yip” did a better job, coach tumbled. We never tried that again.
But soccer is what really fried my fanny. That one sport I’m pretty good at. I surpass my identical in that sport. That’s great, right? Would be if Yup didn’t play goalie on the opposite team every time we practice. He really busts his butt blocking my shots, more’n any other player’s. I mean he really goes the extra mile to see I don’t score. He’ll literally eat dirt, leaping for my ball and taking hard falls to keep me from scoring. It’s gotten so, half the time I aim for his midriff hard as I can kick the ball. Giving him a good bruising every once in a while did wonders for my blood pressure.
Then Yup did the unforgivable. He started getting in between my identical and me. Dunno what Yap’s thinking, but he’s letting it happen. That was the last straw. I went from neutral to negative.
“Butt out, asshole,” I started my onslaught one day when Yup asked Yap what he was doing that evening. “We’ve got plans. And you’re not included.”
Yup got sort of a hurt look on his alien face—which sent a thrill up my spine—and stammered, “Why not? We used to do things together all the time.”
“That was before you left the family.”
“What the hell you talking about?”
“Before you started looking like a frog instead of a human being.”
“Now, Yip—” Yap started.
“Shut up. Don’t encourage him.”
Yup turned red in the face. “If I look like a frog, how come Cindy goes out with me?”
“Figured a kiss would turn you into a prince, I guess. Didn’t work, did it?”
“What brought this on?” Yup asked. “What’d I ever do to you.”
“Besides Cindy, you mean? Go away, man, you don’t belong here. You don’t even look like the rest of us. You’re parked in the wrong family.”
It went downhill from there.
Like Mark, I never thought about triplets being like twins, sometimes identical, sometimes fraternal. At any rate, that eventuality opens up all sorts of possibilities. We now know Yip’s thinking. I understand that next week, we see things from Yap’s perspective.
Stay safe and stay strong.
Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!
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See you next Thursday.
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