It was on Bogart Street as I walked to the subway that I peered through the windows of Tutu’s and saw what looked like me. I slowed and looked closer, yes, that man sitting at the bar had the same beard I had, his hair was side-parted and he wore black Levi’s and a red-and-black flannel with black Vans. I thought at first that it was a trick of the light, that I was admiring my reflection, like Narcissus in the pond. But how could that be, I wondered? Then I thought it might be a great coincidence, that I had a doppelganger in Bushwick and that it was not entirely impossible for him to be wearing the same thing as I. And yet upon closer inspection, I realized that our facial features were more than just similar, they were exactly the same.
The man looked up from pouring his beer, directly through the glass at me. His face registered no surprise, he only stared with a kind of mocking look. By this time, I had stopped walking, in order to make sure that this man was more than just a look-alike, that he was in fact, an exact replica of me.
I’ve been told that I’m narcissistic, sure, but this was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Here I was looking at my exact replica, a man who not only had my beard and hairstyle, who not only was wearing my outfit, but who was, in countenance and bearing, me. I could not believe it. I decided to meet him, for who could it be, this impostor? Would we share the same name, too? Was he the real Daniel Ryan Adler? Was I the fake?
But when I entered the bar, something changed. The man sitting at the bar no longer carried himself the way I did. His beard was darker. The colors of his shirt had changed. I noticed janitor’s keys on his belt loop and his aquiline nose. He was not me at all. And yet, I wondered, could it have been a mere trick of the light, or did something in the universe conspire against me at that moment to make my reflection stare back at me, when in reality it was a man who bore very little resemblance to me at all?
Written by Daniel Ryan Adler
Photo Credits: Bushwick Daily, The Burning Bush