Today I was reminded of an experience I had when I was a teen. I was sitting in a park near our home. Across the other side of the park was a guy that just kept staring at me. Even at 14 , I knew enough to be wary of strangers staring like that, but he was far enough away that I could still run if I needed to. When he started walking over toward me, I got up to leave. He yelled "Wait"... well like all good horror movie fems, I did wait (shakes her head).
He had a something small in his hands. When he got close enough to me, he handed me a picture. The picture was of me, in the same outfit I was wearing, in the same position and place, in the same park. (Now mind you, this was long before digital cameras, and it was NOT a Poloroid!) I wondered how he took it, got it developed, and got back there in the 30 minutes I had been sitting in the park reading!
My heart started pounding in my chest, there were always stories of girls being kidnapped… or other such terrors in the area I grew up in, and this guy scared me... then he spoke.
"Can you see why I was staring at you" he said.
"No" (as I backed up a bit).
"She looks just like you" he said.
(I looked at the picture again, and felt the blood start to pump harder in my chest… it WAS me).
Then he went on to explain to me that it was a picture of his fiancé' who had just died. Tears were creeping out of the corner of his eyes, as he continued.
"She was the light of my life, and as you can see, you look just like her" he said.
There was no denying that it did look like me. If it had not been for the fact that I had only owned the shirt I had on for a week, and that was the first day I had ever worn it, I might have run. But instead I looked at the picture again. It was like looking in a mirror. The same shirt, the same window pane jeans, hair the same length, color and style, sitting in the same spot, in the same park. I couldn't speak, did not know what to say to him.
"I didn't mean to scare you" he said as he tucked his head down toward his chest, and started to walk away.
I never did figure out what to say to him. Just watched him as he walked away. I wondered later, what it must have felt like for him to see me. Did he think I was a ghost?
I've heard it said many times before that we all have a twin in this world. I wonder how many people actually see them, and how they might have felt. I felt like I had slipped between the veil of here and hereafter. It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last.