A writer investigates what it would be like if he never got married, had kids, or settled into a stable job. He decides to search for his carefree doppelgänger—a 39-year-old singer-songwriter named Kyle Field:
"'What time can I come by?' I asked.
"'Oh, anytime. I'll just be kicking it around the house.'
"Kicking it. This is not a concept in our house. I drove out to the scruffy edge of southeastern Portland and pulled up to the place where my doppelgänger was staying, nervous about intruding. The house was everything I'd ever dreamed of—at least when I used to dream of such a life. There was a pile of construction lumber in the front yard, and the porch was covered in beer cans and Goodwill furniture and well-thumbed paperbacks, some of them as warped as giant clams."
PUBLISHED: May 12, 2012
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5549 words)
He'd been doing very well in Baltimore, earning six figures as the vice president of a bank, but he tossed his job out the window when some Reaganomics-drunk investor ("an admirer," my father called him) phoned him out of the blue to see if he wanted to direct a savings and loan out west. And for a while after we moved, he seemed to live up to the opulent vision he'd dazzled me with on my first visit. Unsatisfied with our first house in Rolling Hills, he leased us a big Mediterranean nearby for $5,000 a month, roughly $11,000 today. There was a swimming pool and a tennis court and a barn where my father put up a pen for his two hunting dogs. I didn't know what he was doing to make so much money, but I wholeheartedly endorsed it.
PUBLISHED: March 8, 2011
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5483 words)