Thursday, April 14, 2011

Evil Twin

In college there was a guy in my dorm who bore a remarkable resemblance to me. Even I could see it: we were about the same height, had the same general build and coloring, and both had long scruffy hair in the style of the day.

We became friends, and after his roommate moved out we became roomies. I think a lot of others in our dorm assumed we were brothers, or if they didn't see us together, thought we were one and the same.

I see people who remind me of other people all the time. If it involves people I see often, I typically begin to see beyond the superficial resemblance. Before long I reach a stage where I wonder what I ever saw in the first person that reminded me of the second.

In the case of my collegiate doppelganger, however, the confusion between us kept up the entire school year.

One day a guy who lived on my floor, an athlete I knew by sight only, approached me in the dorm hallway. "You think Communist Cuba is so great?" he demanded. "You think Fidel is such a hero?" His voice cut sharply; every gesture oozed menace. Lucky for me, one of his friends pulled him back before things escalated.

The threat bewildered me. Then I learned my new lookalike roommate had radical political views he did not hesitate to share, and that the guy who threatened me was a Cuban refugee.

Did I leave well enough alone? No. I resented that threat. After I pieced together why it happened, I retaliated by finding pictures of Castro, Che Guevara, Karl Marx, and a few others, and taping them to the outside of our dorm room door, where any passerby would see them.

This touched off an ongoing battle. The pictures got torn down. I put them up again. Torn down again. Put up again.

There is no satisfactory ending to this story. I got threatened a few more times, but never did get beat up. The school year ended and everyone went their separate ways. That includes my evil twin, who vanished into the great horde, never to be seen by me again.

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