Ever since I was a small child my cousin Adam and I have seen each other as adversaries. Not enemies. Not nemesi. But always aware of the others achievements and always trying to stay one step ahead.
We are virtually identical. Some have even mistaken us for brothers. Both standing over six feet, two inches (I'm a few inches taller) and weighing around one hundred seventy pounds (he's a few pounds heavier), the only real distinction is that Adam has sandy blonde hair, whereas a dark brown mop covers my head.
We both played the trombone in high school and college. Both sing and act. Both attended the same college, and now live in the same city. And the rivalry continues.
Sitting at the Kids Table
My grandparents came into town this week, so those of us who were able met at my aunt Monica's for dinner. Just as in the elementary days at family holidays, the kids were banished to a flimsy card table in the room adjacent to the dining room. Only this time the people filling the seats at the kids table ranged in age from twenty three to twenty six. As Adam and I sat there, I with my wife, he with his girlfriend, the age old picking and teasing came out in full force. When he asserted that he could beat me up, the gauntlet had been thrown. I scoffed a retort,
"You cannot. I'm made of Titanium." This was my go to response to his overinflated feather-ruffling. He couldn't argue. It was true.
"So! Kelsey and I have been working out. How much do you weigh?"
"One hundred sixty two pounds." I'd weighed myself that morning.
"Ha! Monica? Do you have a scale?"
I scarfed another hamburger while the scale was retrieved.
A few moments later we were standing in front of an electric bathroom scale in the kitchen. I stepped on the white surface first. The digital readout paused a moment, then reported,
I knew the number was inflated by my full stomach and my fully clothed condition. I normally stepped on the scale right before showering.
Adam stepped onto the scale and waited for a response. the digits read,
Foiled! We returned to the gray card table, Adam glib with his small victory. As we pushed the sparse remains of our delicious dinner around our plates, my grandfather bellowed across the room,
"Adam! Chris! You boys listen up. Your mom was..."
"Grandpa, we don't have the same mom." Adam interjected wryly.
"Oh that's right. you don't. Thank God for that." He went on to recount a story of my grandmother and a speeding ticket. He often refers to grandma as mom. An acceptable mistake for a man approaching seventy six years of life on this earth. But his misnomer left me thinking -- what if Adam and I had been brothers?
He'd be Ken. I'd be Ryu. It'd be epic. For those of you who don't get that reference, go look up Street Fighter on Wikipedia.
And one of us would be dead by now. That's for sure.
The Gaunlet Thrown
So Adam wanted to boast about the six and one half pounds that he had over me. That's fine. I'll succumb to the challenge, and I'll succeed. I've made it my earnest goal to outweigh my blonde brother by my twenty sixth birthday. That gives me two and one half months to pack on the pounds, bulk up, and show my dear cousin that he's got a force to recon with.
Anyone got any tips for bulking up? I sense an inspirational montage coming up...