That we are individuals with eyes only in our own heads provisioned only with fingers and feelings that feed into our unique brains makes us all initially egocentric. With time and talent, reflection and education, we can and do develop abilities moreso to view our circumstances “objectively”.
So I keep mulling over the rift with my sisters. Or rather the gulf. Or rather something that is utterly impassible.
They argued on the phone, forgetting I was there. I remember nothing but my middle sister’s first sentence: “We shouldn’t have done this.” The next sentence sent me spinning in shock. I don’t remember what it was. I recall a sick reaction in my stomach at an insult unintended for my ears. I recall being referred to as an inanimate object with no feelings though I do not remember the words. The language continued streaming volubly and angrily from the phone.
I did not have the phone on speaker, but I could hear them loud and clear. I set the phone on the bed and walked away perhaps six feet. Still I was assaulted by labels of diminution and disgust. I left the room so as not to hear. In part because I was sickened, in part because it had not registered that they were admitting to have colluded against me in something pertaining to my inheritance, mostly because it would have been impolite to eavesdrop. Afterward, I realized each would have had better presence of mind in my shoes and listened to the argument.
I waited until it was silent before returning to my room and lifting the phone to my ear. I cleared my throat. Both sisters startled. “Oh, I guess I did hear the birds in the background.” . . . “I didn’t think you were there.” I changed the subject to my wedding plans.
The next afternoon the beneficiary letter arrived. It was full of contradictions and errors. I thought they would have wanted it fixed. I did not know we had somehow become adversary parties by virtue of the letter having arrived. After all we had talked just the night before. So I texted them on our usual group text. My elder sister just replied with a poor photograph of the lawyer’s business card turned sideways. What, they don’t even use .vcf files?!
Despite excessively repeated attempts, I have not heard from them since. As the middle-sister is an attorney with a major NYC law firm, when I found it impossible to even get their attorney to admitting to continuing to represent them, I phoned her workplace and explained that I felt she was in violation of practice rules in doing this. I gather I got a response finally from the attorney, written in a style readily identifiable as the middle sister’s, only because I had complained about her lack of professionalism to her managing partner.
As I’m not clever enough for avarice, I cannot imagine what it is to collude against your youngest sister. I only vaguely understand that, after their argument, they must have consulted again and developed this new strategy of noncommunication. It seemed the only logical thing given the high level of feigned friendliness the night before.
How do you cut off your sister of 54 years overnight due to an argument with your other sister? I do not get it.
So I continue to mull over the matter.