I’ve always been kind of obsessed with the idea of doppelgangers. Or, more of the idea that there is another part of my personality (some part that I’m missing) running around out there, free of my body but still walking around wearing an identical one. Weird, right?
A year ago, I wrote an autobio comic about my experience being a teen mall model, and in it I touched on a time when I was 16 and came upon a girl who looked exactly like me in the record store.
After that sighting, I was obsessed with the idea of a different version of me out there somewhere, living a much cooler life. When I was 23, I was at the theater with my friends about to see X2. I had another doppelganger sighting, but this time of what I referred to as my “Exact Male Double”. I reasoned that because I had a short bob haircut, him a mod shaggy haircut, we resembled eachother almost exactly, even down to what we were wearing. I tested this theory out on my friend as she walked by –
“Hey, see that guy over there?”
“Oh my god, that’s YOU!!”
I stared at him and he stared back (clearly because he recognized and acknowledged the fact that we were the same person, not that he was weirded out by a girl in the same outfit staring at him). I didn’t dare get any closer to him, because I was convinced we’d cancel eachother out. Or, would that happen only if you encountered the exact opposite of you?
I do believe that there are doppelgangers of everyone running loose in the world, simply because I believe that nature gets tired of coming up with new things all the time, so doubles are bound to happen. It’s the same with personalities — I’ve been introduced to people who I’ve instantly clicked with because I’ve already been good friends with someone of the exact same personality, mannerisms, sense of humor, etc. So I can get past all that initial meeting stuff and become good friends.
I love the idea, though, of being somehow connected to this other version of myself while still knowing absolutely nothing about them. I used to think that whenever I had a really good or bad day for no reason, it was because my doppelganger was up to something in her own world. And I assumed that I affected her somehow in the same way too. You know, whatever, fun to muse about, right?
Then I heard the Am I Carrying My Own Twin podcast (from Stuff Mom Never Told You), and it FREAKED THE SHIT OUT OF ME. Basically, there is a creeeeeepy phenomenon called fetus in fetu, where basically twins in the womb don’t manifest as twins, but rather one absorbs the other one. So one of the twins ends up carrying the other one. Brrrrrrrr. Of course, this is super rare, and it’s not like it ever results in another actual living creature. And there’s been tons of sci-fi and horror books and movies enamored with the idea of the subdued twin coming back to kill its sibling.
Once I got past all the creepy ookiness of it, I did find if fascinating that these womb twin survivors will carry with them throughout their lives this feeling that they are missing their double, their twin. They have a constant longing for someone who is supposed to be identical to them. So whenever I hear about people seeing doppelgangers (or, even weirder, the phenomenon when you hear the sounds of someone returning home from work and moving around – and they don’t actually arrive until hours later) I wonder if we all have this desire to reconnect with our Vanishing Twin in one form or another, even if we were never the product of fetus in fetu (*barf*). Or maybe we’re just all narcissistic jerks and would simply like to see more of ourselves out in the world.