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.–

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