Dina & Darlene Tunnel, Supermodels
by Katie Jean Shinkle
Dina, being the slenderest side of the conjoined twins, would always be the half to walk the runway, Darlene would be the face in all the photographs, the still shots, because Dina could not pose correctly: her nose was bent and crooked, her mouth perpetually slightly slacked, in pictures her eyes would go wonky to one side, up or down, even though in real life outside of the photograph she did not have trouble with her eyes, Darlene did. When it was time to hoof the runway, Darlene would wear a sheet like a ghost and shadow Dina. The designers who loved them would accommodate if they wanted Dina & Darlene to be in their shows, creating special ensembles hefty and necessary enough to hide Darlene, resembling how mothers would hide in pictures under setting and scenery with their children in a much different era. Darlene was merely prop. Darlene, the pretty face. Dina, from the clavicle down, the much prettier side of the body.
This is the story of the day Dina got her nose smashed in, making it impossible for her to do high fashion photo shoots. They were not supermodels yet, they were horror porn stars, in the market for a fetish clientele they were not prepared for yet expecting nonetheless. D&D Tunnel Will Make You Beg And Sweat the back of their DVDs said, Two Ladies For The Price of One, Put It In Their TunnelS it said, with the capital S for no reason at all, an odd typo. What their clients were always curious about was their genitals, and Dina & Darlene believed people bought their films to fetishize their bodies, as if something explanatory and revelatory would be bestowed about the viewer about their conjoined bodies, how do they fuck, how do they cum. In every film they were fully clothed in latex and leather, ambiguous genitals never revealed, the ways in which their organs and tissue were related still a mystery.
Dina & Darlene had agreed to a double-penetration film series (Every Hole Fulfilled, D&D DP’d To The Maxxx so said their agency’s trailer for the series), only they were not aware that this request meant taking their clothes off, revealing themselves in ways they never had before on camera, their agency did not tell them this, that double-penetration meant gentialia all over the place. When the time came for clothing to come off, for body parts to be smashed together, Dina & Darlene protested, this party is over, we’ll show you double-penetration, Darlene said. They threw things at everyone around the set, a lamp as long as their legs, a bottle of unopened champagne that broke in three pieces before the cork blew out the end right into the lens of the filming camera, they flailed against their scene partner with claws out, fists wailing, they broke a chair, we’re leaving, they said and as they left the producer threw the Gideon’s Bible from the top dresser drawer of the hotel dresser at them, hitting Dina smack in the nose, blood dotting her hands, dotting Darlene’s white latex boots. The nose never set straight or the same, out went her supermodel-face career.
Dina and Darlene, after that incident, began working on their stride on the makeshift catwalk they made in their parent’s backyard, realizing after several nights and mornings of practice that Dina could slenderly and with fluidity walk down a runaway, a seamless specimen of beauty, curving the left side of the shared torso, the long leg, the perfect breast into a perfect trunk show pleasing moment, making her look unique and unequivocal. Darlene, unfortunately, with the most exquisite face, the high cheekbones, the fullest lips, frumped down the catwalk like a corpse hanging on the right side of Dina, could not keep pace in a high heel, hurt Dina when stretching her leg to hold a pose, she could not pose, pulling uncomfortably where they were attached at the liver, one fluid body and one lump of a body. It would not do. Dina could walk, Darlene could not; Darlene took stunning photographs, Dina, quite literally, hit in the face. Together, however, they formed a supermodel never seen before. They decided to sell themselves as a package like in the porn industry, Two Supermodels For the Price of One.
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Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of The Sadness of July, forthcoming from dancing girl press. She lives and writes in Denver, Colorado.