On more than a few occasions, complete strangers have started up long conversations with me. They’d reminisce about people from high school who’d gotten fat, went into rehab, or turned out gay. Then they’d slowly get that look in their eyes. That look of awkward realization.
Let the panicked tap-dancing begin.
Once it dawned on them that I didn’t know them from Adam, they’d immediately begin to backpedal. Apologizing profusely, they’d inevitably chalk it up to my having a doppelgänger, as if the existence of a double somehow made the horrible things they said less objectionable.
Another all-too frequent case of mistaken identity.
Yet this occurs often enough to make me wonder, “How many doubles of me are out there, friend? Five? Ten? A hundred?” Earth has 8 billion people. So even if I’m one in a million, there could still be 8,000 of me. Is anybody okay with that? Because I’m certainly not.
Why do so many doppelgängers look like me?
Is there a picture of me next to “doppelgänger” in the dictionary? Did the gods run out of face designs and start reusing mine? Or, are my doppelgängers actually clones? Worse, what if I’m a clone of someone else? Or a decoy to thwart assassination attempts against the original me?
Ah, so this is what an existential crisis feels like.
If I was created in a some laboratory, why do I have a belly button? And how did I escape? Or was I released, and for what purpose? Am I really that ordinary looking? That everyday, run-of-the-mill, and mainstream? Or, is my mug the penultimate conclusion of human evolution? The final step before we all become crab-shaped creatures? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, I’ll just need to grow one of those French handlebar mustaches. Yep, that’ll solve the problem.