Since I am an only child, the idea of having siblings is already quite strange to me. Although I understand that, in theory, brothers and sisters are a very natural thing, in practice I can’t quite imagine what it must be like to have somebody close to my age and as closely related to me as my parents. I find twins even more mind-blowing. Identical twins, especially, are a source of endless fascination – you not only have somebody who is so closely related to you, but was born at the same time as you and shares your exact DNA. I can’t even begin to fathom all the possible implications.
I met Tina and Nina a week ago, at the start of a documentary filmmaking workshop at Trška Gora in Slovenia. When all the participants were thinking of possible topics for a documentary, the first thing that of course sprang to my mind was that of twins.
Since then, the three of us have spent a large part of our waking hours together, partly under the pretense of trying to come up with a more specific idea about this project, and partly because we somehow got swept up into shooting a film on another topic as part of a bigger crew.
Though Nina now has short hair and Tina – longer, which makes telling them apart more automatic, and a few days have been enough to see that shared DNA doesn’t mean shared personality, I still spent much of my time around the twins in astonishment. The two have been graciously patient with my infiltration efforts, constant pestering, idiotic questions and frequent urges to prod them. By now, they’ve gotten used to the jaw dropping, I think.
During that time, things that would be perfect to include in a documentary about twins have come out: to my question “Which one is this?” about a childhood photo of one of them, they both answered, simultaneously: “That’s me.”; the first thing an old family friend inquired when running into Tina (minus Nina) was, “Which one are you?”; situations effortlessly yielded themselves into good twin/evil twin jokes; when one stalled in trying to explain or do something, the other would pick up from there and continue…
Unfortunately, this particular documentary will have to stay in my head, at least for the time being. Today, the three of us shot some footage that is more fiction than documentary. Here is the final result:
At any rate, it’s been double double fun fun.
Incidentally (ok, not really), I learned that Slovenian is the only Slavic language that retains full grammatical use of the dual, including special dual forms for nouns and verbs.