Thursday, July 31, 2008

Twin Stars Spinning Round

I remember as a kid being creeped out by Tom Tryon's The Other (1972), one of those horror stories involving depraved children, like The Omen (1976).

Identical twins bring things to a whole different level of weirdness and possibility.

Having encountered several sets of twins in the last decade, I tend to keep an eye out for books on the topic out of sheer curiousity. Some years ago, I came upon Marjorie Wallace's The Silent Twins (1986), about Jennifer and June, real life twins in the UK. Here's a small sampling from Jennifer's diary (p. 150):

"I wonder what June is doing now? Who is really mad? -- June or me? Is June possessed by a demon? There must be a spirit that won't leave me alone. All my life it has been with me . . ."

The tale of Jennifer and June is far stranger than any soap opera plot.

As Wallace puts it early on (p. 6): two human beings who love and hate each other with such intensity that they can neither live together nor apart. Like twin stars, they are caught in the gravitational field between them, doomed to spin round each other forever.

So the girls devised games and strategies and rules to maintain this equilibrium . . . Such games and rituals can lead the players into the darker side of life. . .

Jennifer and June got into a heap of trouble with the law and in mental institutions. Upon final release in 1993, Jennifer dropped dead at age thirty. Apparently they had a pact for one to outlive the other and be set free from their weird bipolar system. Creepy, eh?

All of the identical twins I've known in Detroit have been referred to simply as "The Twins."

Fertility drugs seem to have increased the number of twins among us. Far better than mutiple cloning, I guess, but still plenty strange.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.


Charles Gramlich said...

I have tyrone's the Other but haven't read it. Sounds creepy.

Lana Gramlich said...

I went to school with David Selzer's daughter, actually. I'm not familiar with the Others, though.

the walking man said...

Jon and Kate + 8 is a freaky show on TLC. One set of twins and fraternal sextuplets, They are still babies basically but *shudder* when they become teens.

JR's Thumbprints said...

On a different note, a student of mine, after observing his bizarre behavior, offered the following explanation: "I'm bipolar."

Everyone waited for my reaction, my response. "Yeah," I said, "Well I'm tripolar."

Anonymous said...


Lana Gramlich said...

*LOL @ "tripolar."*