April 9th, 2006

I'm adorable., Hi

Seeing Double

There was a guy sitting a few seats down from me on the subway this morning who I kept looking at because he reminded me so much of someone I know. And when I finally realized who it was it was almost eerie, since he didn't look like somebody I know so much as somebody I've never met. Somebody I've seen pictures of, but who doen'st exist anymore.

It was my dad at age 26. It took me a minute to recognize him, because he obviously didn't dress like my dad dressed when he was 26, but his facial structure, hair, height, body type, were all exactly like those of my dad in the pictures hanging downstairs above the TV, minus the skinny tie. This, I assumed, was what my dad would look like if he'd grown up in my generation.
And I kept looking over at the guy, as if at any minute a 25 year old version of my mom would walk onto the train with her long, ridiculously thick hair that was almost black and would sit down next to him and they would start talking until the train got to their stop, which would be somewhere in the 70's. (The decade, not the street numbers.)

"What are you doing?" I wanted to whisper to the not-yet-my-dad on the train. "Why did you grow that ugly goatee? You don't have it in any of the pictures we have in the house, so it doesn't look like you're going to have it in the future...might as well get rid of it now."
Also, this time around, my dad plays the guitar. I can't imagine how this is a good idea being that my dad has the musical sense of a filofax.
"Lose the guitar," I want to say to him. "I've seen you in about a thousand home videos where mom goes, 'Why don't you get the girls to sing something,' and you have us sing "Happy Birthday" or "You're a Grand Old Flag," because those are the only two songs you know at least half the words to."

And my dad is dressed not unlike how my actual father would have been dressed. A red shirt, a khaki jacket, and jeans that look as normal as possible on someone who has the same size waist as his eventual 20 something year-old daughters. Looking at the stage of his life that he's in, I'm ballparking that he just got fired from teaching and is currently applying to law schools on a whim. (He applied, among others, to law schools at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. I have always found this fact amusing, given that Princeton University does not have, nor have they ever had a law program.) He actually won't meet my mother for a couple more years (He is 30 when they meet, 31 when they get married) but I almost want to rush him off the train so he can meet her, get married, and start his life. And (if all goes well) I'll be born in a couple years and will get to do my life over, fixing everything I've ever regretted and never mentioning this incident to my dad, since I'm sure the whole situation breaks some sort of basic physical law, and that's not the type of law he practices so he won't even be able to get me off the hook.