Monday, August 8, 2011

Old World Doppelgangers

I want you to know that I saw you today. While running around southern Europe, I met your DNA strand. It is uncanny. I know it isn’t you, but it could be your twin. Something just so absolutely certain. Your eyes, your brow, your cheeks, your chin, it’s as if wandering around the old world I can see the origin of your birth.
I saw my Dad standing outside Trevi Fountain watching a horse eating a carrot and my Mom along Via Cavour buying a Pellegrino from a white cart. Saw Jimmy Stewart and Mr. Rogers, Sylvester Stallone and the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.
I saw my next door neighbor and old Mrs. Alfred from the apple orchard down the road. Saw Mr. Orengo, my 7th grade civics teacher with his hairy ears and tree trunk forearms. Saw my old T-ball coach and Tim from the Rec Center.
Saw my sister Lisa with her strawberry blond hair in Turkey sinking her toes into the sand, saw my brother Grant and almost fell over when he passed me in the Bodrum castle. Saw my sister-in-law Christi while waiting for my black coffee and hot water Americano beneath the Acropolis in the market.
I saw a young Neil Ballard in Santorini diving into the Aegean and Buffy Rhoads passing me at the Vatican beneath a fresco of Jesus Christ coming out of the tomb, followed her for a moment until I realized I lost my daughters and had to retreat, turned around to see her but she slipped away.
Saw Kathy McGill reading a book in St. Mark’s and Jess Hooper on a gondola beneath the Rialto Bridge in Venice, just passing by with a bemused smile on her face. Saw Kelly Moore too, shopping for earrings with her boyfriend, both were wearing backpacks with college sweatshirts on.
Saw Sherri Selter’s yellow hair and soft eyes looking at windmills on Mykonos and did an absolute double-take at Deb McConnel on the pier at Athens Piraeus… AND when I say a double-take I mean I walked up to a complete stranger and tapped her on the shoulder and then had to apologize smiling.
The McConnel’s doppelganger understood. I could see it in her eyes. She must have had the same thought with me because she looked so deeply into my face as if I were her next door neighbor growing up or some kid in a math class she had in elementary school. I could tell she was reaching back into her memory banks to place me.
And I saw you too. Yes. Oh yes. It threw me off balance completely. You were older, much older, almost twenty years older, standing a couple people ahead of me buying a bottle of water in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle. You were a head taller than me with hair pulled all the way back. Still so slim and beautiful, but your eyes, I mean… this was your twin. I was too stunned to take a picture, just staring into your future eyes. I burned this memory into my mind, knowing I may never see you again.
You can watch someone a long time in a crowded space without them noticing you at all. In fact, we all do it. But when we recognize someone, someone special we know so well, it is like being invisible with them. Yet we know it isn’t really them. How could it be? How could anyone be as perfect as you are in all of your intricacies that I miss so well.
We all have that fantasy, that we are able to be with the people we love, invisibly watching them or having them watch us. We whisper to them when we are alone. We want ever so much just to speak to them, to have them back with us, but we know we can’t. That it is gone. Still, the heart wants.
Maybe all of you were just figments of my imagination, that you are not real at all. Maybe you never were. But I swear I saw you, saw a separate creation of you. Maybe it’s because I have always held you very near and dear and wish you were closer again. Just once again, like it was before.

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean, it's like the ghosts of old souls around us. Keep looking.

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