Day 181 – The Alter Ego

Having a criminal for an identical twin made things somewhat difficult on Lonny growing up. There was a great deal of confusion and blaming that went on, but Lonny always took it in good spirits as an inevitable part of life.

Even as babies this was a problem for the pair. One would be seen waddling off with a cookie he’d nicked from the jar, but once the adult caught up with him, he was seated next to his brother and all the evidence was gone. Small wonder then that the young Benny found out quickly that, if the authorities were unsure which of them to punish, neither would face consequences. No parent wants a child growing up with emotional trauma from unwarranted spankings.

So the identity crises continued well into their teens, Benny stealing candy from the local drugstore and Lonny realizing too late that he should run when he saw his brother bolt past. The cops mistakenly apprehended Lonny so often that they devised a simple password that would allow “Lawful Lonny” to go without the arduous process of checking his fingerprints and cheek swab, neither of which made much difference anyway with the negligible difference between the twins. And more often than not, by the time the mistaken identity was sorted out, “Bad Benny” had rid himself of all evidence of his misdeeds.

Whether by compulsion or purely out of boredom, Benny’s crimes became more elaborate and serious in adulthood, going from petty thievery and minor destruction of property to arson and kidnapping. A point of no return was being approached, and at breakneck speeds. Thankfully the crimes remained essentially nonviolent.

Every day Lonny would walk home from his job at the deli, wave hello to his neighbors over a bit of cheerful chitchat. He would head to his closet and change out of the striped blue shirt that he used to differentiate himself from his brother’s preferred red. There would be a moment where he sat on the chest he had had since childhood, speaking as if to someone inside, then he would open it, pull on the red sweater found within, and Benny would go to work for the night.

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