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The Duplicate...

I suspect life with teenagers was never easy. At my worst, I will pace back & forth & growl that I was SO much more disciplined when I was their age. To Ellen's lasting credit, she usually just smiles until I pause for breath (because no matter how long you think you can sustain a rant, at some point, you MUST take a breath...) & then she reminds me of a few choice moments from my past. (Which shall remain in my past, because I can promise you're never going to hear them from me...)

Anyway, that reminder serves her evil purposes. It stops me dead in my tracks. Or at least reduces me to incoherent (& softer) mumbling. Because she's right. I was most likely not all that easy (though I'm convinced I was easier than my sister. That part of the story will not change on my watch.). I KNOW I was not all that easy if my parents had known everything I was up to.

At least our sons let us know all the wild paths they're walking. Maybe not on the very same day, but usually before the bruising subsides. It's one of the qualities I treasure most about them. They have never seen any real advantage in lying to us (within reason. They're still human), because no matter what they've done we still give them treats. (Ask us about treat-based parenting sometime. Though I made that up this exact instant, I think we could probably both flesh it out pretty quickly. In fact, I'm going to send you over to Ellen's blog & you can ask her yourself. She's at ellenrockne.com. Tell her I sent you, at your own risk.)

But all this reminded me of an audio story I did awhile back. I call it The Duplicate. It begins with the days when I was exactly like my elder son, spending large amounts of time & energy scheming about how to avoid work. More energy in fact than it would actually take to do the work in the first place. I wrote this as a cautionary tale, but like many of my stories, it spun off into a completely different direction than I intended. Now, I think it's a story about parallel lives & choices that ripple out into our futures. It's also about how absurd our ideas of ourselves can sometimes be (taking as the prime example me ranting about how much more disciplined I was in my younger days. HA!).

Mostly, though, it's just a fun story. I hope you enjoy it...

with love, Brian



Audio - The Duplicate: a story of parallel lives

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Reader Comments (4)

Haha, awesome audio clip.

March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReuben

Yeah, it's pretty fun. It's the kind of thing I can see you liking, Reuben. Wait until you hear the one that came out of a conversation with Gabe & Matthew & Sean & Brad about army recruiters. Equally twisted...

with love, Brian

March 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterZenBandit

What a lovely concept. It got me thinking...what would my duplicate be out there doing? She would probably be out there starting businesses, investing, making money, that kind of thing. She'd be doing laundry and filing her taxes, at the very least.

Thanks for the ensuing brainstorm. :)

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjust jill

I think that's what I love about duplicates most. They do all the stuff that just isn't all the interesting to the real me :-)

March 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterZenBandit
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