Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who the twins are and how they always knew they were special.

There wasn’t a time when the twins did not know they were special. It was a fact as clear as the blue sky, the importance of hockey season and the devastating badness of Menudo. That they knew this was in no way surprising. Everyone knew.

        In the streets, the shops, and the parks of their town the twins were always treated differently than everyone else. Strangers took their picture, stopped them to talk, and sometimes gave them gifts. 

Their favourite story from their childhood was one that their mother told. 

“Tips for being us.” The twins would exclaim, the idea entranced them no matter how often they heard the story.

         The twins were also special because they were blessed with a unique gift, which it will be important for us to discuss later. For now what you must know is that they were also blessed with the longest, not to mention most beautiful, last name in their entire town. In kindergarten they had impressed the class and their teacher by both pronouncing and spelling this astonishing moniker. When the teacher stumbled on their name during role call they stood up in unison and said, 

            “It’s pronounced Semchizen, S-E-M-C-Z-Y-S-Z-Y-N”
The class gasped at this prodigal understanding of both z’s and the rule that y is sometimes a vowel. A rule that most of the class had not yet learned. Thus the twins earned the early admiration of their peers.

Every new teacher would stare at their name with increasing anxiety until the twins would come to their aid by explaining the pronunciation. When they went to the bank, clerks would ask them to pronounce it. They spelled their name for everyone, so that when giving information on person or on the phone they would always say “my name is Rain/ Sunshine Semczyszyn-that’s-spelled- S-E-M-C-Z-Y-S-Z-Y-N”.

Now you might find this a little surprising, but parents of the hippie persuasion often name their children after natural events. In fact, a close family friend of the twins was called River. When they found out there was two of them, the twins parents had searched for names that balanced each other out; the yin and yang of nature, the positive and the negative in perfect harmony. 

So when you know this, their names are more understandable. The twins were called Rain Semczyszyn and Sunshine Semczyszyn and they lived in a town called Carrick, which is Scots Gaelic for ‘Town’.