DON’T CLONE ME, BRO!
by Melodie Johnson Howe
Yesterday morning as I was pouring 1% organic milk into my coffee, I asked Bones if he would have me cloned.
Without looking up from his Investor’s Daily Newspaper, he said, “No.” Then he paused, put his paper down, faced me, and said, “What?”
“Would you have me cloned?”
“Have you been reading science fiction?”
“No, the milk carton. It says no cows have been cloned to produce this milk. Would I know if I was cloned? Would I know that I was me?”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“Then don’t clone me.”
“I wasn’t going to.” He rattled his Investor’s Daily, grumbled something that might have to do with the economy or me, and continued to read.
It seemed to me as I sipped my coffee that we have come a long way from the faces of lost or kidnapped children on milk cartons to the declaration that no cows have been cloned. I certainly didn’t get out of bed worried about civilization, but now I was. The milk carton had unnerved me. We were far from the disclaimer that “No actors have been cloned for this Got Milk? commercial.”
Could a writer be cloned? For those authors who have successfully created a cottage industry out of their books by having others write them, it might not be a bad idea.
“Can a clone create?”
Bones took off his glasses and rubbed his face. “I don’t know. Nobody knows. They haven’t cloned a human being yet.”
“I suppose it depends on what kind of human they clone.”
“I suppose so. Depending on what is going into the clone. But nobody knows.”
“You don’t seem very disturbed about this.”
“I mean we’re talking about the essence of the individual.”
“It’s 7:30 in the morning the market is going up and down like a yo-yo, England’s just had a major riot, some European countries my go under financially, and you’re talking about cloning?”
“You won’t even watch the sci-fi movies I like.”
“How many times have I sat through Solyent Green with you? And I like Blade Runner, with Mel Gibson.”
“Are you sure?”
“Usually I would not question you about movies. but this I am sure about. And I’m sure that you don’t know anything about cloning and I don’t either.”
“But if they can clone a cow, can a human be far behind?”
“I’m buying a different brand of milk.” He shook his Investor’s Daily into submission.
I walked into my office and googled Harrison Ford and Blade Runner. He was right. How could I have gotten that wrong? I bet my clone would have known that.
I stared at my iPhone. I stared at my iPad, I stared at my monitor. I used to stare at a typewriter. Some writer long ago stared at parchment with a quill in his hand.
Would my clone stare at the monitor? Or would she sit down and just begin to write because she was programmed to. But how meaningless is that? No struggle. No soul searching. No individual voice. It’s taken me a long time to find my own voice. My own! And she, my clone, would have it with the snap of her fingers.
Would my clone get her roots done?
Stop, Melodie. I began to write.