Time’s Mirror

Dear J-

Today’s my brother’s birthday; we have a cousin precisely three days older who used to live in the exotic land of Saudi Arabia (his dad, our uncle, worked for ARAMCO, and to compensate for the hassles of living out there, was well-compensated with crazy benefits, such as paying for boarding school, etc.).  I used to think that there was some kind of weird coincidence to having birthdays so close together, but considering there’s six billion people and only three hundred and sixty-five days to divide them up into, there’s bound to be a little overlap there.

He’s always been one of my heroes, by the way.  There was one year that he went through a modern algebra course — a senior college-level course, mind you — while still in high school, and managed to not miss any points that year.  Perfect homework, perfect quizzes, perfect exams.  Plus his fast-twitch skills were well beyond mine; we would play cooperative multiplayer games (TMNT II on the NES!) and it turned out that he did much better solo than when I tagged along — there were times that I lost track of which turtle I was controlling and thought I was doing very well.

Now that we’ve both unleashed a new generation on the world, I think I begin to understand him better now; I can see where we used to both revel in the seemingly limitless freedom following moving away from Cheney, and I can see where we apply the lessons we learned there in our lives today.  Fifteen years ago is now just under half our lives; fifteen years ago our lives were different — not better, different — and fifteen years ago we were kids ourselves believing everything.

Time reveals everything; for us I believe that time’s given us the perspective and opportunity to try on different personalities to see what aspects fit, and which didn’t stick.  Time’s crucible refines us, but fails to define us.  Despite wearing glasses for twenty-five years the face in the mirror gets clearer every day.



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