Identical twins Roger and Richard have fooled many people by posing as the other to friends. They have the same exact haircut and matching clothes. If one developed a pimple, the other would fake one. They enjoyed the games they played on people. They were the best of brothers. Little did they know, their skills would save them.
eastwind journals, January 13, 2022 (archive tr180-181)
By Bernie V. Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Roger became the CEO for an international bank. Richard became a Kung Fu black belter. But he became a drug addict in two years.
Roger caught his wife cheating and shot her and her lover casually in a sidewalk café. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, from banker to jailbird. Richard visited Roger regularly in jail. After ten long years, Roger admitted he wanted to commit suicide.
ROGER – I can’t stand this violent place anymore. A guy is killed every week. Soon, I will be the next. I have been thinking hard of suicide.
RICHARD – Same here. The notion pops in often in my mind when I am high. Soon, I will be killing people to get drug money and join you. I need a place go cold turkey (sudden withdrawal from drugs causing extreme pain and depression, but is effective).
ROGER – Yesterday, an inmate committed suicide.
RICHARD – (Snapping a finger.) I just got an idea. Why don’t we swap. The jail is the perfect place for me to go cold turkey. No drugs available. No choice but to stop.
ROGER – We will be saving each other from suicide.
The two banged their knuckles together on the glass between them. The next week, Richard brought a pick for the handcuffs, and when the guard was not looking, they exchanged places. Roger handcuffed Richard after they exchanged clothes and shoes. They could exchange clothes in 15 seconds after weeks of rehearsals. The guard did not even notice.
Roger rented a cheap cottage in a remote lonely beach in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The first time he sat on a sand dune viewing the seascape for four hours until sunset, he wept his heart out, sobbing aloud shamelessly. Every day, he spent hours in his sand dune perch, eating very little. He easily lost 30 pounds.
Then, he started to pray, talking casually to the Lord, during long evening beach walks. In time, he restored his spirituality. He was weak physically but was strong spiritually. He was a new man.
Using Richard’s identification cards, Roger found a job as a high school teacher in a quiet Cape Cod village. He poured himself in his students, teaching them the meaning of life and values and attitudes needed to deal with the future cruel world. He loved his students and they loved him back. It was a perfect synergy, an exchange of wisdom and spirituality. Roger found his niche and was happy in the simplicity of life of a teacher.
As Roger evolved from banker to teacher, Richard wallowed in jail. He got out of addiction quickly cold-turkey by sheer will power.
Slowly, he cleared his head, and detoxified his body. He started eating well. If Roger lost 30 pounds at the beach, Richard gained the same in jail. He went back to Kung Fu. In no time, like Roger, he was a new man.
Andy the Hulk was the most notorious jailbird. No one dared to cross his path. The Blacks and the Italians stayed away. But not Richard. He neither showed fear nor belligerence. He smiled casually to everyone.
One day, Richard had a confrontation with one of Andy’s men who was irritated by his smile. He punched Richard but missed. Richard easily beat him black and blue. Andy took over. Within 20 seconds, Richard also beat him black and blue.
ANDY – I’m impressed. Would you like to teach me and my men?
RICHARD – I will teach everyone interested, not just you. Let me talk to Warden Williams.
WILLIAMS – (Laughing hard). Martial arts classes in jail? You’re kidding. It will induce more violence. Never done before.
RICHARD – There’s always a first time. Believe me, Williams, there will be less violence. If all knew all had self-defense skills, there will be less confrontations.
WILLIAMS – I don’t know about that.
RICHARD – Kung Fu teaches non-violence, not vengeance or anger. I will teach them non-violence.
WILLIAMS – You may have a point. Okay, let’s do an experiment.
80% of all inmates joined the Kung Fu classes. He had four classes a day in the open air as his students sat on the grass.
RICHARD – First lesson, Kung Fu is the art of self-defense. It is not used for vengeance or anger. Second, there is a difference between brute force and mind-control force. Third, the idea is to be quick to deflect a blow and follow up with a counter-punch. I need a volunteer.
A burly black stood up. Richard, a foot shorter, floored him in ten seconds. Everyone applauded. Without talking theory, Richard used sparring to teach his lessons. The inmates learned quickly. There was a general peaceful atmosphere. Richard taught them gentleness and inner peace rather than martial arts, anger management and conflict management. He became the revered guru. He loved his students as much as they loved him, just like Roger with his students. For the first time, there were no killings for an entire month.
WILLIAMS – I’m surprised. You’re changing the entire prison system.
RICHARD – Our penal system sucks. We make criminals more criminal.
WILLIAMS – True. A smile works much more than a stick.
RICHARD – Can you present our idea to other wardens? I can do the syllabus.
Using the credentials of Roger, Richard got out of jail quickly. But before he left, he taught a handful to be the new teachers. His legacy spread rapidly to other jails nationwide.
Richard joined Roger in Cape Code and became a teacher of martial arts. The twins, who saved each other from suicide, still played the same game, swapping classes without students knowing about it.
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Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.