I have a doppleganger. His name is David Rae, he lives in Oregon, is involved with his fraternity and seems to have quite a few friends that love hanging out with him. How do I know so much about him? Because I frequently receive his email that gets mistakenly sent to my account. It's because there is a difference of one letter in our email address. It's a bit amusing because I'll receive an email from someone that I don't know and as I read it I realize this has nothing to do with me, I scroll to the end and find out that the person originates from the west coast which gives me relief that I don't have to put together some major event that I had completely forgotten about and I promptly forward it to the correct (and by the sounds of it more successful) version of David Rae.
Anyways, I recently received congratulations for my wedding. I mean his wedding. It was in the last few weeks and as I sent it off to him, I added my own greeting to it.
It's kind of fun to have these quick snapshots of another guy with my name. I don't try to snoop or anything, it's just that I have read numerous first paragraphs of his emails.
I was thinking about that a bit today as the girl I dated just under a year ago is getting married today. In fact, as I write this, she's probably at her reception or something. It's strange to think that I could have been married today and that those congratulatory emails would have been address to me and not the Other David Rae.
I know that it most likely would not have worked out with her (because she never could pick up on my apparently hard to follow sarcasm) but none the less I can tell you that I would not be sitting in my sweet Batcave-like office in Nelson writing scripts and books and doing something completely different with my life in a land that I don't quite understand.
It's like I am living in a parallel universe and every once in a while, I get an email that sent to the wrong one universe. Many people who know me know that I think about that other world. Maybe it's one of the reasons I am so fascinated with time travel as a literary device. The idea of what would it be like if things would be different. It might be a neat exercise in imagination, but ultimately it has nothing to do with now and who I am here. Apart of the aspects of having the inability to change the past is so that way we try to make the best possible choices. If I could go back and change things and make it the way I would want, I would also not be me. I would not develop as a person and gain wisdom and experience. All my time would be spent going back and perfecting everything that I am not really enjoying it.
I played Civilization a lot and in that game, I would save my game right before attempting to take over a new city and then attack. If it didn't turn out because I lost too many guys or my guys were simply not strong enough to take on the defenders, then I would just hit the reload button and try again or wait another turn when I would send in even more guys. However, in those war campaigns of mine, I would spent so much time trying to get the result I wanted that the game took so much longer and ultimately not that enjoyable.
What is more interesting is when people face conflicts and every once in a while fail and then become better because of it. I find that I have to keep reminding myself of that. I can't focus on what could have been or wondering if I screwed up, because it takes me out of the enjoyment and the development of where I am now.
Hopefully, after today, I don't have to keep looking over to the David Rae who could have been married right now, but rather realizing that the things that happened have made me who I am. If I would have reloaded the game and instead be the Other David Rae then I wouldn't be truly the right man. I would be the doppelganger.
"I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The Christmas tree, I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds
For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky
I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood
I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down
I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up"
- "Wishlist" from Pearl Jam's "Yield" album