Monday, September 17, 2007

Doppleganger? Moi?

Thanks to dorky dad, I'm reminded of a very bizarre period in my life where my doppelganger was running amok in Buffalo, NY in the mid-'eighties. Read on, if you dare...

It was about 7:15PM when I finally dragged my sorry ass into my swingin' bachelor pad on West Utica Street in Buffalo, NY. I had put in a very long day at work and only wanted to eat some leftover chili and flake out.

But first, there was the matter of the flashing light on my answering machine. The voice of my friend Shelley crackled over the tiny speaker:

"God punishes people who ignore their friends, you know!"


"Good lord," I wondered. "What's her problem? So I worked uncharacteristically late; am I supposed to be home just in case she calls?"

I dialed my koo-koo friend's phone number while the chili heated on the stove.

Me: Hey, Shelley. It's Craig. What's the deal with the phone message?
Shelley: Well you could have at least said, "Hello!" But if that's the way you want to treat your friends...

Me: Whoah, whoah, whoah! I just now got home from work, where I've been since 6:45AM. What are you talking about?

Shelley: What are you talking about? You parked right in front of my house while I was on the porch today and you totally blew me off while I was waving to you.

Me: Um, no way. I've been in Niagara Falls all day.

Shelley: Well, it looked like you and it looked like your car!

Me: What color was the car?

Shelley: Um, blue?

Me: Well, I have a green car. I don't know who you saw, but it wasn't me.

Shelley" Omigawd! Omigawd! It had to be you! It looked just like you!

Me: Well, it wasn't me. Listen, I have some chili on the stove, so I gotta go...

"Well," I mused. "That was certainly strange! Even by Shelley standards!"

Some time later, months later, I was at the Burger King located at Hertel and Delaware.

I was at the little counter where you go to grab the napkins, condiments and straws.

I looked up from the ketchup packets and locked eyes with an older lady who was standing on the other side of the island.

She had an expression on her face that I can only describe as the wide-eyed, open-jawed mask of someone who had seen a ghost. Standing at her side was a similar lady with a similar expression.

Me: Um, can I help you? Do you need some ketchup?

Lady #1: Oh my god! You look just like my son!

Lady#2: You really do!

Me: You know what? Your son has been causing problems for me all over Buffalo. People have been giving me grief for "ignoring" them when it wasn't even me who was blowing them off.

Lady #1: But you really look just like my son...

Lady #2: Your really do! We couldn't figure out why you were ignoring your mother...

There wasn't much more to the conversation than this. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't have the presence of mind to find out who this guy was. Gracious sakes, if his own mother could be fooled then we were deep into "Patty Duke Show" territory here!

What a missed opportunity!
During this period my wife-to-be and I were still dating.

Like an idiot, I bought a pair of season tickets to the Studio Arena, figuring that a full slate of live plays would make for a worry-free way to plan out a whole bunch of dates. Turns out Michelle really isn't that big a fan of the theater. (Now, her sister was a drama major...)

I mention this because we were attending one of these plays when we saw him!

"Craig - look!" said Michelle, pointing. "There he is! That must be the guy!"

There I was. I mean, there he was, on the opposite far side of the theater-in-the-round stage!

It was ME!

He even dressed like me!

That means, he had on a cheesy "Mr. Rogers" sweater, except it was a bright yellow. (I tended to wear blacks and grays.)

In the crush of the crowd and what-not, we weren't able to get over to him.

And even if we did, then what?

They say when you meet your doppelganger one of you ceases to exist. That might very well be true, because after this incident, that was the last I saw or heard of this "other Craig."

I wonder if he, too, lost his hair, got paunchy and made life choices similar to mine. Does he have a daughter who is a twin to my Mariel?

I mean, when a person's own mother can be fooled...



Blogger Gale said...

I envy the duplicity... ha!

September 17, 2007 2:18 PM  
Blogger Charlotta-love said...

Anytime someone says "you look just like so-and-so" I follow up with, "I'm assuming this is a good thing." They always assure me it is. lol.

September 17, 2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger furiousBall said...

Wow, fooled a Mom? Jeebus.

You should have started perpetrating some crimes. Gone on a tristate Slim Jim stealing spree or something.

September 17, 2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger whimsical brainpan said...

It is really eerie that you even fooled his own mom.

September 17, 2007 10:19 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This is so creepy!

I wonder though, if he is your doppelganger, or if YOU are in fact HIS.

I also wonder if you two are identical twins separated at birth...

This is cool...!

September 18, 2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger Allan said...

Do you ever feel like the world is a Philip K.Dick novel? What a great story/novel you could write based (loosely, maybe) on your real-life mystery. Truly weird...perhaps you are shifting into parallel universes and catching glimpses of yourself.
Perhaps UFO aliens have an evil plan to conquer the Earth by masquerading as you...I dunno...something about probability waves and infinite states? Been readin' too much quasi-quantum fringe fiction...makin' me nuts!

September 19, 2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oooh. That story was creepy. But I'm glad that you offed the doppelganger. (I know you did it ... I can read between the blog lines ...)

How was the chili?

September 20, 2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger AngelConradie said...

woah... very spooky! so if you had met- which one of you woulda disappeared?

September 24, 2007 3:24 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

yeah, what if he's your Evil Twin? that is freaky. Dude, you could've at least made up a meeting for us ... I'll be wondering about this now.

September 30, 2007 4:52 AM  

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