Close
Close

David Story

David Story is a student of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire who is spending part of his junior year in England, where, as a twin, he found himself an interested witness of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production – by Adrian Noble – of Shakespeare’s play about twinship, The Comedy of Errors.

Diary: On Being a Twin

David Story, 5 April 1984

In almost every way being a twin is paradoxical. I am ‘identical’ to my brother, but we are unique because we are twins. And I both enjoy and despise this uniqueness in our identicalness. While I cherish the possibilities for making conversation and playing tricks, I detest being seen as a complete duplicate of my brother. This makes me feel as if I belong in a freak show, though the audience that twins draw lacks the tact of most freak-show audiences. Instead of merely gazing at us in wonder, people ask questions. The first is invariably: ‘How do they [sic] tell you apart?’ Usually, before my brother or I can answer, an eager acquaintance will intervene, and get us to open our mouths and show our teeth – like horses on an auction block. Finding a difference, they can then reassure themselves that we are two distinctly different people and, moreover, that the difference is quite apparent: that their previous inability to distinguish between us was due simply to careless observation. They can convince themselves that we are not identical – only as alike as most brothers.–

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences