They (“They”) say everybody’s got a doppleganger somewhere in the world. Me, at last count, I had six. I’m reminded of this because Agrimony saw me a few nights ago at a Jeff Duhham show in New England, when she knew perfectly well I was at home sleeping in my bed in Ireland.
The first time someone said she knew somebody who looked just like me I was nine years old. I’d just moved into town and was going to a new school and a girl said to me, “You’re short.” This was patently untrue. She was also standing two steps above me. Then she took a step down and said, “You’re still short,” which continued to be untrue, and then she stepped down to the ground and said, “You look just like my friend Bonnie,” which apparently *was* true, because a while later when I went to her birthday party and knocked on the front door, her mother opened it, gaped at me in enormous astonishment, and said, “Bonnie?” (I don’t remember where Bonnie was supposed to be. In a different state.) No, I said, I was Catie, but Darcy’d said Bonnie looked like me.
Then through junior high and high school my friend Kelly and I spent six years being mistaken for one another (the first year of which we hadn’t met, so when we did we were like OH YOU’RE THE ONE!), although we didn’t look that much alike. We both had straight brown hair and glasses and slightly pointy chins, but it got to the point where I would respond to her name automatically (which caused some confusion when I did so in a class with a *different* Kelly in it, who had no idea why I was answering the question she’d been asked).
My freshman year of college, somone I had never seen before came up and didn’t strike up, but *picked up*, an animated conversation they’d obviously been having with someone else. I stood there in increasing bewilderment until the bewilderment became clear to the other person, who looked at me more carefully, then, shocked, said, “You’re not Michelle!” and rushed away. I never did meet Michelle.
In Anchorage, at the gym I went to, one morning I went in and the girl behind the desk said, “You’re in early!”, to which I replied, in some confusion, “Not really, I haven’t been in in a while, but this is when I always come in.” She looked confused in turn, and I went on my way. A couple weeks later, two women I’d never seen before said to me, “Hey, you got your hair cut! It looks great!” “Er,” I said, “not recently, but thanks,” to which they responded “Oh my god we thought you were somebody else.” The conversation about me being in early became clear at that point: obviously the girl behind the desk had also mistaken me for the woman these other two thought I was.
Right after I moved to Ireland, I was at the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Cork, taking pictures, and I saw myself through the viewfinder. Now *that* was pretty damned surreal, I tell you. I snapped the shot, forgot about it until I was processing the pictures, said to Ted, “C’mere and tell me what you see in this picture,” and he came, looked, and said, “When did you join the Irish Army?” I saw her again the next year, too, but didn’t get as good a picture and couldn’t find her to meet up. But here’s Military Kit, the one doppleganger I have physical proof of:
And then there’s Agrimony’s sighting of me this week, 3000 miles away from where I was sleeping. And those don’t include the fifteen or twenty people over the years who have said to me, “Wow, you look just like someone I know,” or “You look really familiar,” to which I’ve learned to respond, “I have one of those faces.”
My point in writing all this up was going to be to say “So tell me about *your* dopplegangers,” which I still wish you to do, but *in* writing it, it kind of struck me: there’s probably a book in this, isn’t there. :) (eta2: I mean, aside from the one that memory tells me was titled ANNA OF A THOUSAND FACES but which the internet doesn’t pull up for me, which is a book I read in about 6th grade about a girl who was a clone, and which has therefore already been written. So a *different* book. :)) (eta3: ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER, that was it!)
(eta: oh, and there was the time I was going through 1950s class photos at work in the archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and opened a pack, slid the four photos out, and found myself looking at myself. The other three photos of the girl didn’t look nearly as much like me, but the first one could have *been* me. I’d forgotten about that!)
(x-posted from the essential kit)