Doctor Willard looked at the two patients unbelievingly.
"It's no laughing matter, doc," Jordon said.
"Of course not. It's just that I have yet to see--or even read about, for that matter--your form of the disorder."
"How old are you two?" Doctor Willard asked.
"Twenty-five," both said in unison.
When Doctor Willard had first seen the Adams twins he thought they were a joke concocted by his colleagues, Dr. Jensen and Dr. Monore. It wasn't because they were conjoined; he'd seen many of those. But this type was rare. He'd never seen a form of the disorder in which one sibling's head protruded the other's groin area. When they hobbled into his office--one brother standing upright, the other with his head bent obscenely down--Doctor Willard burst out laughing.
Now, he regained his composure. He was curious. Was the upright-standing one, Michael, even endowed with a penis? Or was his brother, Jordon's, head all there was there?
"Would you please pull down your pants?" Dr. Willard asked.
"No, Jordon. Just Michael, please."
Michael pulled his pants down ankle-deep.
"Very interesting, Michael. Your brother's head is two inches away from your...er, equipment. So, tell me, Jordon," Doctor Willard asked, "What's the most terrible thing about your head being so close to your brothers genitals?"
"Well, Jordon said, unable to look at Doctor Willard, his head pointed perpetually downward. "Whenever Mike has to use the bathroom, it's always rough. With number one, there's usually always splashback; with number two, the smell is oftentimes unbearable."
"I see," Doctor Willard said, scribbling furociously into his notebook.
"What about sex?" the doctor asked Jordon.
"Oh, that's not so bad. Sometimes the ladies think of it as a 'double your pleasure,' 'two-for-the-price-of-one' type of deal. Generally I don't mind being down here for that. So long as they wash up first. Sometimes they don't."
Doctor Willard scribbled some more, then he stopped. "Why have you two come here? Why haven't you gone to your primary physican?"
Michael jumped in. "We want surgery to get dis-attached. But our doctor--Doctor Williams--is ardently against it. We just came to you to get a second opinion."
"I see," Doctor Willard said, still fascinated by the bizarre spectacle in front of him. He tapped the pentip against his teeth. "Well sirs, I really cannot comment on surgicial ability without an X-ray. Have you by any chance brought the one taken by your former doctor?"
"Yeah," Michael said; he wobbled awkwardly straight with his brother, Jordon, walking backwards on all fours. "Here." Michael handed Doctor Willard a brown manilla envelope.
Doctor Willard studied the charts a few minutes. Then he said, "I am sorry. Surgery just looks too risky. I am afraid I have to agree with your primary physican: It's just too dangerous."
"Okay," Michael said. "Let's go, Jordon."
"No!" Jordon shouted. "I'm tired of it, Doc," he said. "Do you know how terrible it is? To be here? Twenty-five years? Twenty-five years of not being able to be in a normal relationship? Twenty-five years of being laughed at, scorned? Twenty-five years of knowing your brother has to change his underwear before he does!"
Jordon sobbed. Michael grabbed a tissue from the nearby countertop and wiped Jordon's eyes with it.
Together they hobbled awkwardly out of the doctor's office, past the corridors and on to Twenty-Second Street. A pickup truck full of jock passed and one yelled out the passenger window "Faggots!" A group of giggling schoolchildren past them at the crosswalk. A pretty young woman trundling a baby carriage caught Michael's eye. They hobbled up to her and Michael said, "Oh, what a cute little fella," eyeing the baby. The mother smiled until she looked down and saw Jordon's head near Michael's scrotum-area and then she screamed.
Together they hobbled to their apartment--a two-mile walk from Doctor Willard's office.
"I know what will cheer you up, Bro," Michael said when they were inside the apartment. "TV." He flicked on the cable box. "Hey, pay-per-view," Michael said, excitedly. "Let's see. Wow. 'Nasty College Coeds.' I think we'll order that."
The way they sat Michael could see everything, Jordon could see nothing, except Michael's zipper.
Michael started pulling his pants down.
"You know. I think the doctor's right. Surgery is too dangerous. It's not worth the risk. We should just learn to live this way. I'm perfectly content with it. Oh, yes, yes...yes!" Michael rolled his eyes back.
"Oh, no," Jordon cried. "Not again."
Copyright: © 2010 Jack Bristow
Jack Bristow graduated Long Ridge Writer's Group in 2009. He lives in New Mexico. His next short story, "Our Bus Driver, Fred" can be read in the upcoming issue Thirteen of Cantaraville: An International PDF Literary Quarterly.