Sunday, April 22, 2007

People You Know

People see what they expect to see. We look for the familiar. For instance, I’ve been thinking about “home” (that is, Pittsburgh) and the people I have grown up with a lot recently. The more I think about them, the more I think I see them. Everywhere. Yet, the strangest part is, I don’t necessarily see the people I think about.

I once found myself walking down North street, having just finished a good think about college and whether or not I’ll have my job at the coffee shop when I get back, and all of a sudden I passed a stocky chap with curly dirty blonde hair and do a double-take. Was that Brad Zaccharo? It couldn’t be; he was still in America. A second look assured me it was not. But the strangest thing is, I haven’t thought about Brad in ages, and I might not have actually seen him in person since we graduated high school together. I never knew him particularly well. Why would I imagine seeing him in Brighton?

I have also caught glimpses of George duplicates around Brighton, as well. I’ll see the Jesus-hair, the nearly-beard stubble, the tall lanky body sloping almost lazily except for his subtly athletic gait—and turn sharply to get a better look. Somehow, the possibility of finding my old swimming coach in Europe isn’t so far-fetched, although I logically know he’s still in Colorado, coaching his team of prodigies at the US Olympic Training Center.

Just today, I was sitting by the oceanside promenade, my work spread across my blanket on the grass. I had given up on the article I was reading for the seventh time--Parieto-frontal interactions, personal space, and defensive behavior--and had lain down my pen when suddenly, I heard the tinkling sound of a tinny bell. I turned and found my lap filled by an exuberantly happy little white dog. The creature seemed to be smiling its face off at being allowed to run around in the grass, basking in the sunshine, investigating people like me. And what was my first thought? She looks just like Nelly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there are more people who look like george? no. not possible. clearly the english are just driving you insane. there is only one george, i will acknowledge only one george, and that is that.

i am also incredibly hungover. man, was yesterday insane. see e-mail that i will write now.