From the author: Clumsy, messy Nick and his twin Annie owe their mother one last act: a professional, studio portrait of themselves in clean clothes that fit, so they have a record of looking nice "for once". But can doing something that comes unnaturally ever be an authentic act of love?
I look into the mirror.
"You look nice," says Annie, from behind me. "Let's go."
My hair is combed, my tie straight, my outfit pressed and dry-cleaned. My shoes are shined to a glossy black. But I don't like the look in my eyes and I don't look nice.
We go anyway.
My sister and I pull up outside of the photographer's studio. The landscaping out front is geometrically perfect and the building looks new. As I open the passenger door and step onto the asphalt, I notice that there is no grit in...