So I'm thinking and thinking, staring at the carpet, when mutton chops over there calls out to me, "Hey Robin! Dude, I haven't seen you in a while. How's it been man?" My first impulse was to reply that I hadn't seen him in a while either, and that in fact, I'd never seen him so why was he calling me weird names that only made me think of comic books. But I didn't say it. Instead, though knowing there was no one to my left, right, or behind, I made obvious glances in all directions to give the man ample opportunity to figure out his mistake. It didn't work. "Robin, what's up man?" I looked him straight in the eyes this time and waited as long as I dared to give him one more chance without seeming rude. Unfortunately, he still felt at home with his long lost friend, Robin. Suddenly, I wanted to be funny to help out a bit. "Hey Batman, nice chops. Is that the new disguise?" I thought the words, but managed to conquer the impulse to say them. Funny was not going to be appropriate right now. "I'm afraid you have the wrong man, sir." Those words never developed sound either because I thought them in a British accent and everyone knows that an American trying to sound British always comes off sounding condescending, unless he has taken classes, and I had no classes in British diction, so I left off.
Thoughts and memories flash through the mind much quicker than it takes to write them down, so I still hadn't reached the rude point of my staring when I recalled a time several months ago when I caught a young man smiling to himself as he took a picture of me with his cell phone. Suddenly realizing I noticed, he explained I looked exactly like a friend of his and he just had to send my picture to his friend to show him. Now, a few months later, I have Batman staring me in the face for what seems like minutes, completely convinced I'm his sidekick. We finally reached breaking point and I gave in. "Sorry man, I'm not Robin." "You're not? You look just like him!" "Apparently," I replied. The man turned to the side to let me know he considered the conversation over, but remained gazing in disbelief at my profile. I pretended not to notice.
What is it with me and look-alikes? Is there really more of me out there somewhere? Different human bodies walking around, filling some agenda I don't know about, but ultimately connected to me through looks? What are my other lives like? Am I cool, clumsy, stupid, in a rock band, married? Well, at least I can be sure I'm not married. Marriage is completely about looks, and if one look-alike can't attract the opposite gender, the others certainly can't. But what if one of us does find a girl who wants this look? Is all lost for the rest of us? Are we all in a mad race to find her first? It would seem so, I thought to myself as I walked toward my car and in frustration rummaged my pockets for my keys. My thoughts had begun in light-hearted humor, but had suddenly become solemn. What ever would happen to me if I never found a girl who could love me beyond all the look-alike GQs out there, beyond all the Peter-priesthoods out there. What if no girl ever saw through all the crowing roosters and gorgeous peacock feathers of a billion look-alike suitors to where I was, to where I stood singled out as me and not as my feathers. And the girls who did see me were just the ones who took random stabs at the masses, just happening upon me like happening upon Robin. I couldn't be reconciled to that. And what if she did come and I was too stupid to see her--just her. What would I have to live for? What would make me smile? But then I did smile. For in the wake of no one, there is always some one--and no look-alikes. There is only one me. And I'm the luckiest person alive because I already have me forever. There can be no mistaking that, and no divorce either.
It rained all the way home. And I had me and I smiled.