I always forget which one it is, but in meiosis or maybe its mitosis the sperm and the egg get together and sort of swap half of their genetic material with each other, and the genetic material that comes out of this random swapping is you, the individual. This damn exchange is pretty much a crap shoot, but that’s where you come from. And there’s no doubt about it but this swap pretty much determines who you are going to be, like a woman or a man, or a black person or a white person, or somebody who lives in India or in the United States.
Somebody quoted Henry James as saying we go through life wrapped in an envelope of contingency. Bullshit. We are the envelope. Consciousness is just the lie we tell ourselves to convince ourselves we are in control; really consciousness is just along for the ride.
My brothers and I for example are all white men. We all have penises that denote us as men, and we are all damn white. One look at one of us and you say, Hey, that’s one white guy. Some people say white people are really pink people, and maybe that’s true, but those parts of me not usually exposed to the sun are pretty damn white.
I am probably the whitest of the lot being the most fair. I do not tan. I burn. I am like 80% Anglo-Saxon with some Irish thrown in there, though as far as I know they are probably related to the Anglo-Saxons too. I might be more Saxon than Anglo because—though this is pretty speculative—some people in Denmark have names that sound a lot like Tingle.
My brothers are Anglo-Saxon too of course and as I said pretty white. If the four of us were in the same room, though, I am not sure if people who didn’t know us would know we were related or not. I look in the face like the old-lady; and my youngest brother, brother #3, looks like me, so he looks like my mother too. Brothers #1 and #2 look a bit more like the old man. They both have dark hair; while I and Brother #3 have lighter hair. Mine was red, though I like to say auburn, and his had a lot of red in it and was sandy.
I can’t quite tell where we got our bodies from. My body is a dead ringer for the old man’s. I have chicken or tooth pick like legs; my upper body sits on those and is more slight in the bone structure than not. The old man got a gut after 50 or so and so have we all. If I gain weight it goes straight to the gut; the same for brothers #1 and 3. Brother # 2’s weight spreads out a bit more and doesn’t stick out like he had swallowed a cannon ball like mine does. We all stand within an inch or so of six feet either way. So we might be called big guys, though I have never thought of myself as a big guy.
As I said, the genetics thing is a crap shoot. But people who look at us a while all say we look alike “through the eyes.”