Everything I Really Needed to Know About Life I Learned By Ignoring My Big Brother's  Example

Sometimes, it confuses you.

I mean, you look around, and you've got it made: a terrific, sensitive, sensuous, worshipful Significant Other (statistically, a *she*, but you know what Mark Twain said about statistics), who thinks the sun rises and sets on your abs, fabulous food, (which, of course, you willingly and carefully prepare in hopes of sharing with said Significant Other), a well-kept and tastefully decorated shelter of some kind, designer linens, fulfilling work, and an Oxford education that you did not have to pay for. You've got a way with power tools, gardening implements, in-laws, 1040s or their offshore equivalents, children, small fuzzy animals, Shiatsu massage, waxy yellow build up, and your whites are whiter than white.

Hey, you've got it all.

And yet . . .

. . .from time to time, you go months without being able to sleep decently and you don't know why; your sense of humor, generously described as 'dry' by some and not so generously as 'that of a complete jerk' by others, occasionally gets you into trouble you simply could not have foreseen; you feel ridiculously, inexplicably protective of petite, steely-eyed redheads, even if you don't actually know any; you like Ed Wood movies more than anyone should; and you are, if you are honest about it, just a little bit paranoid.

Okay, maybe a whole lot paranoid. Whatever.

That's not the worst of it, of course.

The worst of it might be that, when confronted with a puddle of viscous goo, instead of wanting to mop it up post-haste the way you know you should, you sometimes have a strong urge to stick your ungloved fingers in it.

Or it might be that, from time to time, you are overcome by an almost overwhelming urge to put on some well-worn jeans and a leather jacket, grab an easily-lost flashlight and an easily-broken cell phone, tie on a pair of really big, really ugly work boots, and just take off, without so much as an "I'll see you later" for the love of your life or anyone else.

Then again, it might be the almost hypnotic attraction bright lights hold for you, calling to you, almost, begging you to enter.

One word for you, bro:  Don't.

Biology may not be destiny, nurture may beat nature in a best two out of three, and you may be a whole lot more than the sum of your parts, but don't, okay?  Just don't.

You are what you are, and what you are is Mulder. Made in his image, fashioned from his flesh (well, skin flakes, but that counts), a chip off the ol' DNA, his twin's twin's twin to the nth degree. You may be your own man with your own soul and destiny (or, at least, you may believe that, which is half the battle), but, come on.

You aren't. At the brain and bone and blood and breath level, you are Mulder. All Mulder.  Pure Mulder.

And you know what that means.

It means that you are a walking anomaly, a weird magnet, lightning rod for every freak and geek within a 100 mile radius, ground zero for the strange. You are Murphy's Law on legs, boy, and if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, does go wrong, has gone wrong - hideously, horribly, mindbendingly, painfully, certainly, wrong.

Look at The Original: look at how he's spent the last couple of decades, the last few years, even last few months (say, May 2000 to Late February 2001, for those of you who haven't been paying attention) - spikes through the wrists, sternum-splaying buzz-saw massages, fishhook facials, naked but not enjoying it -- any of that sound like your idea of a dream vacation?

Not mine, either.

And so, in order to save a bunch of us the pain, humiliation, and just plain grief that clings to our big brother the way ugly clings to a warthog, I present you with Bright Lights, Big Trouble: A Clone's Guide To Keeping One's Feet Firmly Planted on the Ground.

Read it, know it, use it.

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