There are these relationships that continue long into one's life. They are connections that glow a dull red for many years, still smoldering and ready to conflagrate into something filled with vitality. They await our needs and the proper circumstances. These relationships are not romantic; they are filial and useful for the occasions when circumstances have degraded, when great moments emerge, during the most mundane of experiences. There we find the genuine alter ego, the "other I." They are filled with misunderstanding and genuine resentment, but they slide into a familiar posturing, a seat where one sits comfortably. They are not relationships born of genetics; no similar DNA is present, other than that which all humans share.

These are strange persons who are so similar and yet so aggravating.