12 June 2002


An idea I picked up on the internet: what would your evil twin be like?

What would he look like? He might be three-hundred pounds or so, with an ill-advised pony tail and an ever-present do-rag to cover the rapidly-balding top of his head. More likely, though, he's whipcord thin (see explanation, below) and - with his own set of clippers - keeps his head shaved clean. He does have questionable facial hair, though.

He lives in Jonesboro, maybe, or Fayetteville or Conway or Little Rock. Some Arkansas college town. He might live in Memphis, but if he does he's close to college kids, either at Rhodes or the U or M.

See, Harold's Evil Twin (whom we'll call Chad) bombed out of college pretty spectacularly after one semester. Straight Fs - that's pretty spectacular, right? But he loves the college lifestyle. Most of his drugging and drinking buddies from that one semester are long gone, but there's always a crowd willing to hang out with a cool, older guy.

And he is a cool guy, no mistake. He knows practically everyone, has a low-key but encyclopedic knowledge of jam-band culture and his roomy (if filthy) apartment is always a low-grade party, just looking for an excuse to bust out into full throw down mode. He's funny and flattering and can keep up a patter that makes everyone smile.

After they leave Chad's company, though, no one can remember exactly what he said.

Tattoos everywhere! Two full sleeves and one leg completed, a few more on the other leg and a back piece in progress. They're not very good, but there's a lot of them.

He cooked pizzas for a while, then delivered them. He had a talent for that, and eventually they made him manager of the pizza place. He doesn't go there much. He needs a legit job, though, and that one's as good as any. He still hasn't got around to replacing the '83 Pulsar he drove in college, but it still runs, right?

He makes crystal meth. Small batches, sure, but enough to keep his friends happy. He's careless in both the making and the distribution of his product, so sooner or later his apartment is going to blow up or the cops are going to catch him. He doesn't care.

He hasn't really talked to his family since he flunked out of college. His mom made a big deal about it and he walked off. He talks to his sisters once in a while, his grandmother a couple of times a year.

During the school year there's a constant stream of freshmen girls, usually in groups of three or four, in and out of his apartment. The word is out amongst the upperclass girls, and the new ones always hear about Harold. He plies them with beer and small amounts of drugs and ruthlessly separates the shy and quiet ones from the pack for his own ends. He calls this "paying the Chad tax."

People like him, sure, but no one stays around him for very long. The air of frantic desperation around him gets thicker by the day.

He owns a gun - a no-frills .38. He says it's because he deals with some bad characters. Sometimes that's true. Sometimes he even believes it.