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Maybe my snack would be popcorn, maybe it would be yellow corn tortilla chips and salsa, or anything overloaded with craving satiating salt. I’d be stretched out along the length of the sofa, snack feeding, remote wielding, surfing the offerings of cable television.

What if it is primary night in several states, in my own state as well as  in an adjacent state, where a wide open contest to see who will have the dubious honour of running up against a powerhouse four term incumbent US Senator concludes tonight. Picture evening handing off to night, with all polling places in the eastern time zone closed, and the first returns flowing in to newsrooms that dutifully disseminate the information out to us.

I’d be channel surfing, my intended destination Lifetime and a film I’d like to see. Something compels me to stop and check out the election returns. Several states run primaries on this day, and I’ve caught the station on a roam through a myriad of out of state results. I sit through the election night anchor telling me all about these obscure to me contests. I am a liberal, and I’m interested in seeing liberal women win, but I don’t follow politics as closely as I should, nor do I vote in every election. Yet for some reason, I’m interested now.

Many of the races are formalities, where someone within an incumbent’s party runs and gets squished in the results, the election called within an hour of polls closing.  For every incumbent there will be a challenger in the opposing party, at least in the statewide office positions, and those are the more contentious and interesting contests.

I’m in New Hampshire. While the station I watch is in this state, since I’ve tuned in they have yet to give our results.  I grow impatient, waiting to find out if the person I voted for today won the primary for governor. Anchor woman gives the first results for governor – in the state of Vermont. Come on, come on, lets get to New Hampshire!

“In the Vermont Democratic primary for who will run against Senate Minority Leader Crossfield, Doctor Bess Watterson is out to a surprising early lead. Doctor Watterson is a physician who works for Physicians For Peace, serving people in high risk areas of the world. She is the youngest person running for US Senate in this election cycle, and is popular with Vermont’s younger voters.” All right, all right, Watterson sounds great, but please move on to New Hampshire.

I pick up my bottle of mineral water and draw a liberal pull. Oh geesh, now they are showing footage of…I choke. Water projects out, and some dribbles down my chin. Some found passage through my nostrils, and stings. I stare at the screen in disbelief as I hack. No way, NO WAY! I click the freeze frame button on the remote, framing a close up picture of Watterson on my screen.

I need to move but I can’t move, oh God I’m hyperventilating. I force will my feet to moving and sprint for the kitchen, gasping for air. I fumble in a drawer for a paper lunch bag I need to calm and restore my breathing. Deep, slow breaths into the bag. Slow down, Tess, slow, slow…slow. It takes a few minutes to regain control. When I do, I walk back into the great room where the sound now gives New Hampshire results, while displayed, frozen in time on screen, is a picture of… me.


The above is not an excerpt, but it does give a different take on the beginning of the story Twin Peril, where two women discover they are identical twins separated at birth, and begin the search for the truth of their ancestry and placement for adoption.