The Other Me

August 20, 2013
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“What’s it like seeing yourself all the time?”

“Wait, you have a twin? That’s so cool! I want a twin. You guys must be best friends.”

“Did you change your clothes? I swear you were wearing something different earlier.”

“How do I tell you two apart? I’ve known you for seven years and I still have no idea.”

Life as a twin is marred by such constant curiosity, inanity, and assumptions. I am an anomaly. Two of me walk the hallways. I can’t escape it, nor am I proud of it—being a twin defines who I am. It’s easy to imagine ways to solve my problem, easy to envision what life would be like if things were different. I think of men in sterile, white lab coats solving my own identity crisis, and the crises of other twins. Test tubes and identical faces would decorate the walls of their research buildings. One of the twin researchers from Research Agency for National Twins, located in Twinsburg, Ohio, would release a statement, chronicling his most recent development: identical twins are, in fact, two of the same person.

Here is how I imagine the AP release:
After years of study, RANT (Research Agency for National Twins) discovered that identical twins are not separate organisms but actually the same individual simply inhabiting a different time and space dimension.
“We’re so relieved,” a father of twins, Richard Gemela, said. “The boys will be ecstatic that they don’t have to worry about individuality anymore. With this information, the Twin Research Agency has freed us.”

Gemela’s boys, Jeff and Geoff, agree. As high school juniors with the same schedule, social circle, and name, a personal identity has been difficult to come by.

“Thank god we’re the same person,” the boys said in unison.
Jeff elaborated.
“Now when someone says Geoff and means him, not me, I’ll be perfectly justified in replying.”

Geoff Gemela plans to celebrate the possibility of this news.

“Now when Jeff’s girlfriend confuses Jeff for me, I won’t even have to correct her,” Gemela said. “It’ll be great. I’ve been following the research since it began, and have been waiting for the day when I could call Lindsay my own.”

His attitude has been mimicked throughout the country. The annual Twins Days festival in Twinsburg will be canceled.

“Since many of our attendees are identical twins, hosting the festival now seems
pointless. We would just be hosting many multiples of the same person,” Bella Jones, spokesperson for Twins Days, said. When asked about the possible repercussions of this cancellation, the Jones was optimistic.

“On the plus side, we now have extra time and can free up the land previously used for more economical endeavors. Maybe we’ll be able to continue following the twin path by selling merchandise geared toward unified identity days. It’s really in nowadays to have twin identity. We could do so much: ‘Twins are One’ days in schools, matching outfit days, and raffles to win plastic surgery to match the face of a movie star,” Jones said.

Despite the positive attitudes radiating from many monozygotic pairs, some families were disappointed. June Meau, one member of an identical twin pair, was distraught when she heard the news through her and her sister’s telepathic connection.

“It’s really too bad,” Meau said. “The telepathic conversations between my twin and I will be so boring. Everyone will think I’m totally crazy. I mean, using ESP to connect with your sister isn’t nearly as weird as using it to talk to yourself.”

Coach of the high school basketball team in Twinsburg, Fred Bliznak, is also unhappy.

“Now I feel obligated to move down one of the identical twin players on my team. He’s way better than his brother, but I guess it’s imperative to keep them together. It seems wrong to split one person in half,” Bliznak said.

The Research Agency for National Twins’ development has had other detractors. Mohammad Pur Umri, a town in India with one of highest concentrations of identical twins in the world, may be forced to reconsider its statistics.

Since the release of the Agency’s statement, several letters have been sent to the town demanding a reconsideration of Mohammad Pur Umri’s status.

“First of all, the population of this town needs to be altered. In 2007, Mohammad Pur Amri had 33 pairs of twins. That’s really just 33 of the same person. Fraternal twins, such as those found in Cândido Godói, Brazil, are separate people, and the only ones that should be counted,” Franny Ternal, a letter-sender, wrote.

Despite some concern, the new information has been met with great approbation. Socially and economically, this scientific development will make the lives of twins and parents easier. Karen Meau, mother of June, is looking forward to the financial relief that the research effects will provide.

“When I take the girls to a doctor’s appointment or amusement park, I’ll only have to pay for one ticket. College education will be a breeze, the girls can apply together and everything. It’s just one girl in two bodies,” Meau said.

For expecting parents of twins, preconceived notions have gone out the door.

“Raising our baby-in-two now seems so much less daunting—after all, we really only have one child. Helping him realize individual potential will be simple. By the time he’s in school, everyone will know about how twins do not exist; that it is a trick of the eye and he is just one boy in two bodies,” expecting parent Alison Kembar said.

Some legal problems concerning marriage and citizenship may arise with this new scientific discovery, but the RANT will tackle those controversies when they are reached.
* * *

I now realize that when someone asks if I changed my shirt in the middle of the day, I can answer with something other than an eye roll. I have changed my shirt. There can be no such thing as my twin wearing one outfit and me another. It’s a visual illusion, that’s all. The truth: I just like to change clothes in the middle of the school day. Ultimately, RANT has freed me, too.

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