I remember a few moments ago when I was your age, twin brother. I once questioned everyone around me, just as you are questioning everyone around you, which only includes me because we are alone in the break room at your office. I remember when it seemed important to search for the truth, to ask questions like the ones you are asking me right now: “What are you doing here?” and “Why do you have that hammer?”

Ah, yes, then came the stage of making demands of the world. You must attempt to control your surroundings, saying things like, “Stop! Stop hitting the vending machine with that hammer!” I was just like you when I was your age, making my own demands, such as, “Give way to my hammer, vending machine!”

You might be surprised to learn that, when I was your age, just a minute ago, hitting the vending machine with a hammer, I also wished to be alone, thinking the exact thing that you have just said aloud: “I hope there was no one around to hear that.” Soon you will grow up. Soon you too will stop caring what other people think. Soon you too will stand proudly in front of your metaphorical broken vending machine, holding your metaphorical bag of chips, which in my case is an actual broken vending machine and an actual bag of chips.

And now you tell me, in a hushed angry tone, “If we weren’t twin brothers, I would call security and have you thrown out of the building.” Must you retreat to an alternate reality, twin brother? Can you not live in the here and now? When I was your age, I considered giving up and living in a world that only existed in my mind. Before the hammer broke the vending machine, I thought, “Maybe I should just give up. Maybe I should stop right here and imagine myself with chips.” But did I just imagine? No! I followed through! I made myself that man with those chips! So, go forth twin brother! Don’t just think—do! Call security!

Why must we always interpret things so literally in our younger years? I can remember a time when I too might have taken someone saying, “call security” to mean, “pick up a phone and call security,” which is what you are doing right now. In fact, when I was your age, I once told you to call security before I grew up and realized that you calling security would not be too good for me. So instead, you should interpret “call security” to mean, “do what you really want to do.”

It was silly of me to think that someone so young would know what he truly desires in life. You tell me that calling security is what you really want to do, but I know you seek something of greater importance. You are too young and wrapped up in the present, talking to that security guard who has just shown up, to think of the future. I, on the other hand, am always considering my next move, always thinking what can I do now to achieve the greatest success later? For example, just a moment ago, when your back was turned, I thought, “what can I do with this hammer that will help me not get taken away by security?” And now look at me, empty-handed, no longer holding a hammer at all.

Seeing you pull the hammer out of that trash bin makes me think, we certainly are twins! When I was your age, the trash bin was the first thing that came to my mind as well, except, instead of looking for a hammer with a security guard, I was trying to get rid of a hammer so a security guard wouldn’t find it. Are we not mirror images of each other?

I know that look on your face well, twin brother, that angry look, so downtrodden, so exhausted by everything. When you get to be my age, you will learn that the best thing to do is smile, under any circumstance, even when you are being cornered by a muscular security guard in the break room of your brother’s workplace, which is the situation I find myself in right now.