Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On Being A Twin

I needed a job. A few summers ago, I paid for a few dental bills, working as a bouncer at the bar my brother bartends at. ZI stopped by Jupiter's again to look for work. I was sitting at my brother's computer typing when I turned to his bed and told him I was thinking about bouncing Matt scowled at me and huddled deeper underneath his down comforter.

"I do not want you to work there." His face was buried. "I have enough identity issues as it is."

Imagine a world where you are constantly mistaken for someone else. People talk to you like you are an entirely different person for long stretches of time. Sometimes they call me Matt, the Thai kick boxer. Sometimes they call me James, the ladies man. I never know if I am a lover or a fighter. So what should I do? Should I roll with it or should I correct them and identify myself?

Underneath the black cotton of her sequin Bebe shirt, her breasts poked out towards my face, staring lecherously at me. Her knockers scared me. She walked up, grabbed my bicep, and said, "Oh my god! How are you? Isn't the Christmas party awesome?"

Jupiter's annual Christmas party was a large event gathering two other Berkeley area restaurants into one bar off of San Pablo. The bartenders at Albatross mixed and poured free drinks all night while the restaurant employees ate a taco buffet and got really, really, drunk. I knew a few people from bouncing at the bar a few years ago but most of the drunkards were friends of my brother's and not mine as was the case with this chesty girl.

She gave me a hug and I shuddered. Then she pushed the boy she had in tow into my face. "This is my boyfriend." she said.

"Nice to meet you," we shook hands. This was getting annoying. Why the fuck was she talking to me. I wanted to peel my face off. "I am James. Maybe you have met my twin brother, Matt? He's over there." I pointed towards the bathroom. I wanted her to leave me alone.

"Oh my god! You're like not Matt," she chortled. "I am like so sorry and like sort of so embarrassed and all."

This would be the part where I stabbed her in the thigh. If I had a knife and if I was into lying in my stories. But I did not stab her I just said, "That's okay. Nice to meet you. I have to uhh..."

Then I ran to the other side of the room. I am so awkward. I tried to think of what I should have said. I wanted to say something witty, and weird. Something that would have ended the conversation.

"Yeah, I am Matt's brother. My mother went to have an abortion and instead of destroying the fetus, the doctor split it in half. That's why we are twins," I wanted to tell her, "What do you expect-It was the early eighties."

As I stood nursing my beer, cowering behind a table near the women's bathroom I thought," Damn it. I can never think of the right thing to say. Oh well, this time I will be pigeon holed as the socially awkward twin."

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