Sometimes everything is depthless.

by Michael Seidel

Twins on separate sides of America are each eating lox on bagels. One has onions, the other doesn't. The one without onions is missing the one with onions, but the one with onions is not missing the one without. They don't know that they're each doing this, eating nearly the same thing at the same time, a kind of thing they weren't raised on, a thing their parents, both bedridden in the same quarrelsome bed by a deficit of the same hard-won vitamin, would to this day call “gaggy” and make that face.

There is some debate about what kind of twins they are. It's a fissure between aesthetics and science. In daylight they look identical, at night paternal. At dusk and dawn they appear as ghosts—they have that much in common. But they enjoy variations of flavor, depths of feeling. One will eat the entire bagel, then press the crumbs into an index finger and eat its traces. The other will wrap up half and save it for later.

Sometimes nobody is at all hungry. Sometimes everything is depthless.