‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948

It's Doppelganger Week on facebook.

I boycotted it because I don't know how to post a picture of an actual doppelganger.

The Free Online Dictionary (which uses the words "free" and "online" and is therefore considered an authority in this context) defines doppelganger as "A ghostly double of a living person, especially one that haunts its fleshly counterpart." I seem to remember a doppelganger being the manifestation of a character's alternate personality.

It's really hard to get pictures of those.

I remember a Twilight Zone episode that had a doppelganger driving away on a bus, looking creepily out the window at the doppel she was ganging. But mostly I remember learning about them as a literary device in high school English.

Know what I realized? I can name every single one of my English teachers.

In one class we listened to old radio shows, watched The Most Dangerous Game and read Nine Stories, by JD Salinger. What do all these things have in common? I think that our teacher really liked them. It was like going to a city with someone who loves architecture. They show you what to look for and you never see it the same again.

When you are in high school, you are essentially a gang of doubles. One big bundle of potential. Which version of You will you go on to be? The only thing that's absolutely certain is you won't stay who you are. For this we are grateful.

If you're lucky, you have teachers who wrestle your attention away from the Tiffany's catalog long enough to teach you about things. Important things. Things like Who You Will Be When You Grow Up. But they don't call it that.

They call it English. Or science. Or whatever resonates with the you that's most you. At the end of each day and with every choice you make, another busload of old selves drives away.

I don't know about you, but I tried on countless versions of me. Eventually I chose one, but my evil twins are legion and I hold them near and dear.

They just don't photograph well.

16 comments:

Jett Superior said...

Ohhhh, sugar, I surely did love this one.

Last year I took a road trip that my daughter's best friend rode along on. We were stomping around, doing our Usuals, which were apparently a wonder for her ("At sixteen I think it's about time I tried sushi," she announced decidedly at one cafe stop). She approached me in our favorite indie bookstore and asked if I would help her choose a book of poetry, as she'd been reading one of my Bukowski volumes aloud to us with great dramatic flair as we drove; it was then she began to suspect that she might be a 'poetry person'.

And I thought, How marvelous a thing that I got to see this part of her wake up and holler its first greetings to the world.

(I had to read this entry aloud to my husband because I barked laughter at 'the doppel she was ganging' and he wanted to hear what elicited such)

Cheryl said...

Just beautiful.

Laggin said...

I love you. Again. And more.

And I am going to read this to the chickadees just as soon as I can trap them in a room with me.

P.S. I guessed the wrong Susan on my NYC post. I guess I thought you were too cool to ever be embarrassed by geekiness.

Vodka Mom said...

It took me a few extra years, but I did manage to leave that evil twin by the wayside. Kicking and screaming.

Celia said...

I am picturing Nora Charles as your celebrity twin. But you don't get Asta, you have to use chicken.

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Every geeky, awkward kid from all those cheesy 80's movies (think "Sixteen Candles" etc) ~ those are my counterparts.

TwoBusy said...

Ever get the feeling you ARE the evil twin?

Uh... right. Me, neither.

for a different kind of girl said...

My evil twin had horrible hair and a rather painful aversion to people. Despite not photographing well, there is, sadly, much evidence of her existence.

Also, I love this. So very much. I plan to have my twin read it on one of her many visits.

Susan said...

Jenifer left this comment at www.facebook.com/trouttowers:

"My high school english teacher made porn. I don't think I will be calling him. (even though money is extremely tight.)"

Ha!

just making my way said...

I occasionally think I let those evil twins pop out too much. Love this, Susan.

Lemon Gloria said...

I adore this post. Really, Susan, I love it so.

Carolyn...Online said...

You know what? My dopples don't photograph well either. I blame the equipment.

MsPicketToYou said...

LOVED this. cause i'm still trying on people. and you is wikkid smaht

JAbel said...

I didn't change my pic at facebook.Mainly because I forgot how I put one there in the first place.It just brought to mind the old Natl Lampoon seperated at birth pics of which the one of Don Knotts(Barney Fife) and Mick Jagger was my fave.As for a youngster today especially a female one getting turned onto poetry by Bukowski.WOW that's something!

Greg said...

Cole Porter must've seen into the future and written "Easy to Love" about you.

A Vapid Blonde said...

I embraced the Evil and now we are inseparable! But we don't gang up on any dopples, so we are kind of not THAT evil I guess.