2nd Best Brothers

I have three brothers, and together, we couldn’t be more different. Well, that’s not quite true. Two of us think similarly. Two of us behave similarly. Two of us react similarly.

The matter is that, at any given time, we are never sure which two.

Maybe that’s because we are the offspring of our father, and two different mothers. Maybe it is simply because we are products of two different generations. Brothers One (me) and Two (Todd) were born in the waning years of the Baby Boomer generation. Brothers Three (Ben) and Four (David) are Millennials.

Perhaps our differences and similarities lie in that two of us have spent most of our lives living out of state (brothers Two and Four), and two of us (One and Three) have never strayed far from home for very long.

Two of us are conservative in our politics and general beliefs, but in differing intensities. I likely would be deemed “middle of the road”. Todd is closer to a Trumper, although he tends to vote for whomever he feels will leave more money in his paycheck.

Ben and David are liberals, ranging from “government doesn’t do enough to help people,” to “that @#&%! Bernie Sanders is a closet Republican,” respectively. Two of us voice our politics openly (Nos.Two and Four), and two of us don’t unless we are pinned down.

Two of us are churchgoing. I go almost every week, Ben less so. David is a staunch atheist. Todd will be happy to buy God a beer, if he shows up.

Two of us have pursued careers in the arts –– me (writing), David (acting) –– with about the same level of success. We are in the game, but still waiting to be discovered. Ben (IT) and Todd (Oil Industry) have more traditional careers, but actually enjoy their jobs.

Todd has a two-hour commute one way. David’s day job requires a company truck. Ben and I work from home.

Emotionally, Ben and I are the closest. We both wear our hearts on our sleeves. You’d have to take off a yellow mack, two overcoats, a suit coat, a blazer, cummerbund and vest, and two T-shirts to get to Todd’s and David’s real feelings. Yet, they are indeed there.

Two of us love pie. Two would rather have fruit.

Dad was a sportscaster, so not surprisingly in our early years, we loved sports –– two of us. Ben and David preferred the grease paint of the theater. The only time they used a jock strap was in the opening act of La Cage aux Folles.

All four of us get moody and depressed. Thanks Dad.

Two of us have kids: Todd (two girls) and Ben (twin girls!).

All four of us love dogs! We each have owned two simultaneously –– B.F. and Sweetie, Dottie and Oliver, Sophie and Teddy, Charlie and Lilly. Ben has a twenty year old turtle named “Spike”. I had a peacock named “Ed”.

Ben and I tend to follow the rules and stay out of trouble. In his youth, Todd was on a first-name basis with most of the local deputies. David has been mugged six times! (Indianapolis 2, Chi-cago 2, New York and Los Angeles 1 each).

My brother, Todd, has the best outlook, but he is the least likely to reveal it. He has a saying that my sister-in-law shared with me. When asked whether something was to his liking, he al-ways responds:

“It’s the second best thing I’ve ever had.”

When asked why he gives that answer, he explains it this way: “I’m always hopeful that some-thing better will come along, tomorrow.” That’s a great mantra. I think it applies to just about everything.

Everything, that is, except brothers.

– John O. Marlowe is an award-winning columnist for Sagamore News Media.