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The Doppelganger on the 91

March 11, 2009 Leave a comment

It was July, boiling and no relief came from the cool breeze of the Pacific. Half awake sprawled on the double sideways seat near the rear doors of the number 91. My fedora mostly covering my eyes, my back pack as a pillow and a Hawaiian shirt toping off the outfit in a kind of mocking cool, I didn’t believe I looked good just different. After all that’s what mattered more. Not being some cookie cutter clone of a carbon image but trying for something individual.
In other words I had the look and feel of a classic dweed trying to be cool but nonchalant about it.
Didn’t really matter because at summer school. We couldn’t really be cool because there was no one to impress, just a handful of facts to be memorized and part of our freedom taken away.

That ride was my meditation. Through the kids going to the beach, or the adults going to and from work and all the rejects of other schools riding home I’d lay there listening to the road. Putting the few facts I stumbled on that day into order. Forgetting the host of people having a better time than me. The others that weren’t shackled to the bus but rather librated to go or come as they please.
In whatever form that came I’d wait out the ride and eventually get home. Disappear or hang out. It didn’t matter this was my last summer before adulthood and I tried to take some kind of advantage of it. If nothing else there was that MUD I had just found.

Then I came in.
I stopped and looked down at myself.
Electricity was in the air as I looked into my own eyes thick glasses in front of the same black brown eyes, mouths agape each of us looking for the words.

Here I way laying there I, or he, was staring down at me. We were the same but different. A different set of choices put him in a t-shirt and jeans and me in my poser cool garb. Both uncaring but for different reasons neither really confident or I don’t think he was as confident as I tried to be. I wanted to know what made him him and me me. What was the major difference but I got scared and couldn’t ask.
The bus jerked forward and he walked the couple steps to sit in the back.
I felt his eyes for the next few stops until I couldn’t take it and had to get off. I knew I fucked up but I couldn’t phrase the words right.
Couldn’t think the right way to say I knew it was me but also no me. Knew we were alike but different and that’s what haunted me. Was it just superficial or was there something more there?

Wandering over to Clark I tried to figure how the conversation would have gone. Did he have any better idea what was going on than I did or was he too trying to find that balance that I hoped existed. Did he have high hopes for the future or was it just me.
Did he have a girlfriend?
A part of me figured he must have known the answer because I didn’t.

Today over a decade after that event I still feel his wake. Coming from people who swear they know me but I figure they know him. Claiming I worked on shows that I wasn’t around for or couldn’t have done in places I’ve never heard of. Maybe if I try hard enough and go enough places I will run into him again. This time I’d like to be the cool one and him the dweeb.

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