At the front door, there was a flurry of sounds punctuated with the jingling of keys as Tucker1945 came barging in with briefcase in hand and a face serious like a bull-mastiff trying to pass a kidney stone.
“God what a day. Meetings, paperwork…” his voice drifted off as he flicked his thumb through his diary checking his schedule for tomorrow, “Everyone here doing okay?” he asked matter-of-factly not looking up from the book.
I always felt most sorry for Tucker1945: he was bred to be the ambitious one, the one who would climb the corporate ladder, and by virtue of being on that path, suffer the by-products of it: increasing anxiety and stress every step of the way.
Okay, in all honesty some of that anxiety might have been my doing too.
Because he was the first of me, in retrospect I can see how I overloaded him with too many facts and statistics too early on. I told him of all the things that would scare him and inspire him, before he ever even got to experience them, but they were the things that had scared and inspired me. I explained in horrifyingly specific detail about what experiences to avoid, what ideas to not even bother entertaining and – most importantly – what would break his heart. This, I explained away to myself, was all to save him from the hurt I had gone through, a hurt that I never wanted to wish upon another – let alone another me.
So you can’t really blame me; wouldn’t you want a more knowledgeable you warn you of the impending mistakes you’ll make? I know that’s how I felt back then. But before you answer, take another look at Tucker1945.
Sure he is driven by a success that means he’s the one who brings in the money that lets me continue my work here at home since I left the National Institute for Behavioural Genetics all those years ago. But that drive of his, by its nature, alienates others. He was never invited to social get-togethers, never got to sit with others during lunch-hour…well you see how that can make for a very lonely individual. So that day when I found him in his room trying rather unsuccessfully to stifle his tears – despite his claims of allergies, which he knew full well I had bred out of him – when I saw all those years back how lonely he was, I promised myself that I’d make the next Tucker more sociable. The next Tucker I’d also take a more hands-off approach in raising.
Hence ladies and gentlemen, that specimen you saw earlier: Tucker1954. The one who is at this point wrestling his younger variant to the ground in a show of petty masculinity, which is all he really knows.