Thursday, July 5, 2018

Guest Post by Hector Acosta

I'll be busy with traveling while writing for a while, so I turned to a new voice for a guest post this week.

Hector Acosta was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States. His time living on the border left an impression on him, and much of his writing revolves around that area and its people. In his free time he enjoys watching wrestling and satisfying a crippling Lego addiction. He is the author of HARDWAY, published by Down & Out Books.

Thanks, Hector!

- dg

When Danny told me about this week’s topic, I was momentarily stumped. I’m not much for taking a lot of pictures of myself, and the ones I do have saved are only a few years old. Thankfully, Facebook of all places came through with an assist, with one of my aunts uploading a ton of photos of my childhood, which is where I was able to snag the one above. And in case you’re wondering, no, I have no idea which of the two handsome fellows is me—though my aunt tagged me as the dude on the right, so I’ll go with her judgment on this one.

The photo was taken when we were still living in Mexico City, and oddly enough, when I came across it, I suddenly remembered the way our mother fussed with both my brother and me, making sure the collars on the shirts weren’t flipped up, that our hair was parted, and most importantly, that it looked like we could stand to be next to each other.

Even at that age (I’m guessing we were around six or seven), my brother and I were already chafing at the whole being twins thing. Bad enough to have to share a room, your toys, and your birthday with someone else, but even worse was having to share an identity. Before I was Hector, I was El Gemelo—the twin. If the other children we played within the apartment complex came to see us, they would ask our mom and dad if los gemelos could come out and play.  And trust me, we were a packaged deal at the time. You became friends with one, you became friend with the other as well.
You’d think that this sort of thing would make each of us go in separate directions in terms of hobbies, looks, and friends. But in our case at least, we never strayed too far from the same path. We both enjoyed the same nerdy things such as video games, books, and anime. We were both lousy at sports and introverts at heart.  We even ended up working for the same video store chain, though thankfully in separate locations.

All our this made our fights and arguments really frustrating. Do you know how annoying it is to be in an argument with an exact duplicate of yourself? All the standard insults are kinda useless when you realize you’d only be calling yourself out as well.

It was only until after high school, when I moved away, that we started to deviate from the same path. He got in shape, throwing himself into climbing and running, and found a big group of friends who had no idea he was a twin, while I found authors like Raymond Chandler and started to write, content with a quiet night at home with my wife.  Though I won’t lie and say that sometimes I wondered what it would be like to have been the one to go down his road.

A lot of this found its way to HARDWAY, my young adult crime novella set in the world of backyard wrestling. While the book doesn’t feature twins, its two main characters, Spencer and Billy, are two brothers who love professional wrestling and were very close to each other until Billy decided to shed some pounds, get a group of cool friends and a cute girlfriend prior to the book starting. The story focuses on the stupid thing teenagers tend to do when they are bored and trying to impress girls, but it also focuses on the conflicting feelings Spencer has about how Billy has changed into someone he barely recognizes, and his surprise at how much he misses the old connection.

Which is almost what happened to me as well. While I won’t spoil the end of HARDWAY, I’ll say that thankfully enough, despite my twin carving out his own identity, we still find ourselves with plenty of things in common. We both think Roman Reigns really needs to step back for a while.

You all might as well get used to me and my wrestling references.


Cathy Ace said...

Welcome, Hector, and thanks for taking on this week's challenge, as a guest, in such an engaging manner. It was great fun to read, and - hopefully - enjoyable for you to write. It's interesting, isn't it, when we look into our own young face (or faces, in your case) and take a moment to think about how being that person has played its part in helping create the person we see in the mirror, today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, here.

catriona said...

Hi Hector, In no way scientific but before I read what yout aunt said I looked t that picture and thought "the one on the right looks like a writer". (Of course, your brother might be a writer too.)

Susan C Shea said...

Hi Hector and thanks for stopping by to post your story of the benefits and tribulations of twinhood. We have 2 year old twins in the extended family, but they're fraternal and one's a girl. Their wise parents do not do the twin thing but they're obviously close. Not sure why you didn't choose twins for your story, but it does sound like it was written from the heart!

Lyda McPherson said...

Hello Hector. Your post brought back all the struggles I experienced in my effort to "not be my sister", who was older and preceded me in almost every classroom setting. The memories have left me wondering, how does one measure success in a situation like this? Yes, different activities, different lifestyles, but how does one measure the success or failure of the choices when both parties have been emotionally hardwired by the same environment? Thanks so much for taking time to post.