Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Doppler Effect*

The other day I ran into a doppelganger of my younger brother a few blocks from my home. Logically I knew it couldn't be him as soon as I saw him. My brother was at work and in a totally different borough. But this guy walked exactly like him. They were about the same height and coloring. They possessed the same gait. The outfit this guy had on looked similar to something that my brother would wear, if a tad bit baggier than his usual taste. He was even loudly singing along to rap music.

Basically a taller, lighter version of Tyrese in 1994.
Like I said I knew it wasn't my brother but as I passed this guy a thought passed through my head- "Wow. Another one."

You see, this wasn't the first person I encountered in my travel that possessed more than a passing resemblance to someone I know. I've seen versions of my friends walking in Midtown, hustling to places in the cold weather of the Northeast, riding on the J train and waiting with me at bus stops. I've known it wasn't them because we didn't acknowledge each other as familiar and most of the time the person they looked like was out of town so it couldn't be them.

The scariest is when I see old black men nowadays. Not all black men but certain older black men instantly make me think of my late father. The familiar smile at an inner joke, the crazy eyebrows, that familiar older black male stance of "I'm old, youngin', but I'll give you a lesson if you need it, son."

AKA The Morgan Freeman.
I think this might be a symptom of missing dude or maybe the universe is telling me I should listen to the voice of others that lives inside of me that tries to illuminate a correct course of action. Or maybe it's life telling me to not allow things to pass me by as an outside observer. That life is short and people move on and do what they love and grow and  expand and sometimes pass on and if I don't start doing the same I'm not doing what I should do. If you're not living up to your potential and just standing there as things flow around you, what does that make you?
Uatu- RIP
Or maybe all the people I know just look like a lot of other people. I know I have been told that I looked like pretty much every black male of a certain age ** and that was how I got the unfortunate nickname of Flusher in high school.*** Are we all Cylons secretly? Are we just variations on a few types of people, just moderately changed through time and genetic drift?

They have a plan...

This whole doppelganger thing is spooky, yo.

*I know the Doppler effect and doppelganger are two unrelated terms but it sounds good and this piece is also talking about things approaching and receding from a subject- me. So, there.
**Only sometimes said in a racist manner.
***You're smart. You can figure that one out. Use context clues.

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