A Tale of Two Fellers
In the spring of 1953, identical twins were born in the New York borough of Brooklyn. Immediately they were separated at birth and sent to different orphanages, one in Paris, Tennessee and the other to Cleveland, Ohio. I will tell you now that this is a tragic story. One of these twins lived a short life, and the other, through the aid of good luck, fortune, science and technology may quite well live forever.
The first twin did not stay long in the Cleveland orphanage. One summer day, he and five of his friends were adopted. His new home was warm, inviting, and full of laughter and love. His new father played with him constantly, and took the young lad wherever he went. His father took him to baseball games, the zoo, his new great-grandparents house, and they even slept in the same room because his father could not bear to have him out of his sight. His father even taught him the proper way to ride a bike, and how to play the “flip” game. He was loved, loved so much that even his father’s friends wanted to adopt him, but his father would never part with him.
Eventually, all the activity began to wear down the young child. The bike rides and games began to take their toll on him causing breaks and tears, but the father seemed to love him more because of these flaws. His father even took great lengths to ensure that every scratch on his body was quickly mended using whatever household item the father could find. The child was despondent over how quickly his body was failing him, but his father’s love reassured him that everything was fine.
All was perfect in this young boy’s world until August of 1956 during a fishing trip with his father and grandpa on Beyer’s Pond. While on the pond, the canoe capsized and all three fell into the murky water. The father tried frantically to hold onto his son, but lost his grip. The father dived underwater, feeling, searching, clawing in vain to find his son, but the water was too murky. Heartbroken, the father had to give up his search and help the grandfather. For a long time the father mourned the loss of his son, but knew his son was loved more than any other during his brief life.
The other twin was not as fortunate to be immediately adopted. He spent countless years in a cramped sickly sweet smelling room within a drafty and cold orphanage. For all he knew, he was trapped in what felt like a barn or basement, deprived of love and contact. For ages he never saw the sun, or any adults, only his peers.
Then after what seemed like eons, he saw the light of day. Someone had finally come to adopt him. His new father was old, much older than he thought he would be and seemed very cold, calculating. He was balding and had a permanent smirk.
His father did not play with him, and treated him as if he were sick. The father even went as far to wear gloves when touching him. There were no sports, no bike rides, no trips. The child was again locked away; in order to protect his body from the world is what his adoptive father said.
After witnessing his father’s odd behavior, the child began to think that he was ill, stricken with some contagious disease. His fears were soon realized when one day he was quarantined to an acid free polypropylene containment unit. Hopeless, the child submitted to his fate and began waiting for a cure that surely would come.
And came it did. His father was sending him to a doctor in Dallas, Texas. The child was ecstatic to finally have a chance at a real life. Upon arrival at the clinic, the child was examined under a microscope and put through all the requisite tests. The doctor exclaimed that he was a wonderful specimen and in top grade condition. The child was relieved and ready to play, but then the unthinkable happened. He was permanently encased in a rigid, air-free cell, and sent back to his father in Montvale, New Jersey. His disease must be incurable the child thought.
When he returned to his father, he exclaimed “What have you done to me?” To which the father replied that the child had been given a chance at immortality thanks to his financial resources and that he should be grateful for this opportunity. The child was skeptical and wanted to be freed to play. Damn the disease, he didn’t care if he died outside of his bubble, but the father would not budge. The child began to resent his father, and the father must have known this, for one day he gave up on his son, selling him to another man.
Hopeful of a brighter future, the child was not saddened to have his original adoptive father out of his life. The child was overjoyed to go to his new home, and was ready to play. Yet, he remained in his cell, urging to play, yet he waited, and waited, and waited…
Now, you tell me who had the more tragic life?