I've wandered over here because I saw Phil's tweet this morning about feeling under the weather (rest your weary little head, Philly, pls) and got to thinking about how much they mirror each other, even inadvertently, like one becoming ill after one tour, the other after the other. And then it hit me: part of the reason why I am phan-agnostic/go back and forth between believing they are/were together and believing that they never were.
It's their intimacy that actually makes me believe *less* in phan sometimes.
Whether you're phan, anti, or somewhere in the middle, I think many of us agree that their closeness goes above and beyond what most couple-couples experience. It's almost eerie how well they complement one another and fit together. So intimate that at times they seem more like twin brothers-from-other-mothers than a couple. As in their bond is so tight that it's as if they shared a womb and have known one another since conception. As in, it's as if they could quite literally be cut from the same cloth.
I don't know if anyone out here is a twin, related to twins, or knows a set well but as an outsider, the handful of twins I've known have had an almost otherworldly closeness. One set that I knew when I was younger would even speak their own twin-language to each other. I think what the "they're like twins" interpretation does for me is complicates the notion that them being "like brothers" means that there are certain levels of intimacy or closeness that don't jive with that interpretation. Because twin relationships can be as close, if not closer, than romantic partnerships.
But then I remember 2009 and it does seem as though they started out feeling very drawn to one another and (unless they were completely fabricating their messages on social media), more likely than not, explored physical intimacy with one another. And also, if they have, in fact, a strictly brotherly relationship, wouldn't they have emphasized this when trying to disprove phan? It would be easy enough for them to say "he's like a brother to me" and just stick with that to keep the public outside of their private lives. So why haven't they?
Lately the interpretation that's stuck with me is that they definitely have a very, very special bond but they themselves have chosen to explore it and try it on different ways. Perhaps they've settled on a close friendship for the time being, perhaps they're privately involved as romantic partners, but that doesn't mean that it was or will always be so. Maybe they don't see each other as "just" partners, because of that twin-brotherly intimacy, or "only" brothers, because they've been involved in other ways, even if it was just once. For all we know, it might change month to month, week to week, hour to hour. They both seem very open to letting things evolve as they will. If this is at least partially true, it explains why it can be so difficult to fall on one side of the phan/anti-phan interpretations, why their relationship is endlessly intriguing from an outside perspective, and perhaps even why they themselves choose to keep things private rather than force themselves to fit into friend-category or lover-category.