“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”
There is no loneliness like theirs. They were born into slavery in North Carolina and subsequently sold to a showman. They were “Millie-Christine”—two girls with a fused spine, two heads, and four legs and arms. They were two entirely singular human beings. I like to think of them as aristocrats.
By advertising them as a girl with two heads the circus transformed their altogether separate and complex identities into a singularity—a reified monstrosity, a symbolic reduction that erased one girl for the sake of the other which is, after all, the oldest trick in showbiz. (Just ask Rock Hudson?)
A fuller article on Millie-Christine “The Two Headed Nightingale” can be found at the website of J. Tithonus Pednaud at: http://thehumanmarvels.com/?p=140