Stranger 028


What’s your full name?

Jack Christophe Yves Marie Durieux

Were you named after anyone?

Yes, after Jack Beguin who was the doctor who basically saved my mother and both my twin brother and I. My mother had preeclampsia and my father was asked the Sophie’s choice question: who would you have saved, your wife or the kids? The odds were literally null to save all three. My dad, having three young kids already chose the best option; my mom. Jack Beguin, against all odds, saved us all, hence my first name. God bless him!

What’s your average day like?

Well, the first hour and a half or so is driving the kids to school, struggling in the terrible traffic jams of Brussels. Then, I get to the studio where I work all day with my twin brother Laurent, my older brother Tom as well as one of my best friend; David. I work as a graphic designer and illustrator as do the other three guys. Then, like most, head back home and help with the family chores, homework, etc…pretty average for a father of two.

What do you consider to be your “home”? 

Being home is being with the people you love most. It’s definitely not geographical. Like the great  Hal David wrote for the Burt Bacharach song: A house is not a home when there’s no one there to hold them tight.

How far away do you live from where you were born?

I was born in the outskirts of Brussels, in about 15 miles from where I live. In Waterloo where Napoleon got his arse kicked in 1815.

Is that distance something you think about? Do you have any connection to your place of birth? 

No, except that it’s the place where my parents still live, I have never felt like I belonged to my hometown. The distance, is really not an issue. Every time I drive this route, is to visit my beloved parents which I’m always happy to do.

Are you in touch with anyone from your youth? Is there someone you wish you stayed in contact with, but didn’t?

A couple of former classmates which I bump into every now and again. I guess being a twin, you don’t really need friends as much as “normal folks”. You have your best one with you since day one.

I do regret not keeping in touch with my good friend Rémi though, who I was in art school with. We were great buddies and then life took us apart as it often does. A couple of months ago, Rémi passed of cancer, needless to say, that this was devastating for me. The last time I was near him was looking at his coffin being laid to rest in a cold sunny day in March. So, yes, big regrets there.

At the moment, what’s something you’re looking forward to? 

I am very much looking forward to my family holidays in the archipelago of southern Finland (I’m half Finnish), the same place we’ve been spending our summers for thirty odd years. I feel I belong to this place more than to my hometown in Belgium.

Is there anything you need with you throughout the day to feel complete? (cellphone, makeup, hair brush, clean teeth, etc.)

All of the above except makeup I guess. But joke aside, what does a twin need to feel complete? I’ll let you connect the dots… 😉 also, I don’t feel right when my girls (and wife) forget to tell me “I love you” when I drop them at work/school in the morning (which they almost if not ever fail to do).

When you look in the mirror, what do you notice first about your appearance?

That with a mug like mine, I should feel very lucky to have such beautiful wife and kids.

If you could change something about your appearance, what would it be?

Lose about 20 kg’s and the same amount in years perhaps.

What do you first notice in strangers?

Whatever vibes emanating from their eyes.

What do think those that know you say about you?

That I probably should have more confidence in myself, that perhaps I shouldn’t be too much of the dominated twin…I dunno, that’s a tough question.

What would you hope they would say?

That I am a great friend who they can lean on. That I am a decent human being. A good father, son, brother, teacher, designer, husband, etc…you know, the basics really.

What do you think strangers notice first about you?

Hopefully my sense of humour.

What is your proudest moment? Biggest victory?

I’m sorry if my answer feels like a cliché, but my proudest moment was definitely when my first daughter was born. Biggest victory? I made it through my mother’s preeclampsia though that was probably Jack Beguin’s.

What is your biggest regret? Biggest failure?

One of my biggest regret is not to have become a musician. Biggest Failure? I can’t think of one right now.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

Work on my tendency to procrastinate. Have more confidence in myself. Be more optimistic about life in general.

Are you making plans for the future, or are you more spontaneous?

I live by the day. I am very bad at making plans. My wife excels at that for me.

When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday (no pun intended), watching the great Paul McCartney playing in a pub in Liverpool. You may have seen this as it was quite an internet buzz.

Have you ever made someone else cry?

Yes, I’m afraid so.

If you could know exactly when and how you would die, would you want to know? 

No thanks.

If you were to die tomorrow, would your life be complete?

No, it would not.

Do you have any dreams unfulfilled?

Going to places like Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and be a kickass pianist or musician.

What is the one rule you try to live by? Do you feel successful at following it?

Be true to yourself, listen to your inner voice, trust your instincts whether they may be artistic, social, etc…I may be wrong sometimes, sure, but I would say the majority of times I am not. We are animals, and as such, instincts should always be trusted first.

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