You’re walking down the street hugging a bag of oranges to your chest when you see your doppelgänger walk out of a movie theatre. You stop and look at them. Your doppelgänger is alone and has just walked out of a 5 o'clock showing of Furious 7. Why Furious 7? That’s a good question. Maybe the cars remind them of Sundays with their dad, sitting on the hood as he listened to The Grateful Dead and pretended to know how to fix the car radio. Maybe they were stood up on a date and were too embarrassed to ask for a ticket refund. Or maybe they have a thing for Vin Diesel’s bald head and sat in the back of the theatre surreptitiously touching themselves whenever he was on screen. You’re never going to know. In any case the theatre they walked out of was an AMC, which means that they paid 16 fucking dollars to watch cars fall out of planes for 2+ hours. That’s embarrassing as fuck. Why would your doppelgänger ever do this? No, better question; why would your doppelgänger ever do this to YOU?
Your doppelgänger sees you staring at them. They stop walking and stare back at you. In the handful of seconds that follow you are forced to make one of three decisions:
ONE. You fight your doppelgänger to the death.
Fighting your doppelgänger to the death could be hard physically, since you’re the exact same size and strength, but emotionally it would probably be satisfying. Most identical twins have terrible relationships for this same reason; there’s too much temptation to deck yourself for therapeutic purposes. If you fought your doppelgänger to the death you’d probably be able to work out all those anger issues your therapist keeps talking about. Imagine that: the knowledge that you’ve killed off some part of you. The ability to start over. Unfortunately you don’t have any weapons but your oranges, and it would probably take a while to bludgeon someone with an orange, especially if you did it one by one. But you always have your hands. You’d have to go for the eyes first, so they’d be too disoriented to fight you off, but you haven’t cut your nails recently so that’s probably okay. You aren’t really dressed for a public murder, and people will definitely be able to identify you if they want to, but you don’t think anyone will. In all likelihood any witnesses will have been too overwhelmed by the theatrics of Furious 7 to be fazed by the blood bath that you’re preparing. And even if they did notice, well, they’d probably understand. Yeah, fighting your doppelgänger to the death sounds like a good option.
TWO. You fuck your doppelgänger.
That’s right, you cross the street, grab a handful of that sweet identical ass and just straight up fuck your doppelgänger right there in front of the number 4 ticket window of the AMC. I’m talking straight balls to the wall furious fucking. (Though not Furious 7 fucking because that’s beneath you.) The kind that would make the old couples straggling out of Furious 7 weep with envy. Or maybe remorse. On one hand it would probably be the best sex of your life. On the other hand you’d have to look at yourself from a whole new angle and realize that thing that you do with your lip that you think is so sexy is actually awful and you hate it. And then later when you ran into your doppelgänger at a party you would be forced to avoid them the whole time. When people tried to point out the resemblance you’d have to say, “Yeah that’s my doppelgänger but I don’t want to talk to them because we fucked once in the street in front of an AMC theatre,” and people would ask, “Did you see a movie together?” and you’d have to explain how you feel about Furious 7 probably for the third time that night which would really just be excessive. So better not fuck your doppelgänger.
THREE. Walk away.
You’re always allowed to walk away and pretend you never saw them. You can turn around and act like none of this has ever happened. Pretend that you didn’t see yourself there in the street wearing clothes that you secretly think are cute but know better than to wear in public, looking tragic and awkward and a little bit sad. Pretend that there is no version of you out there that would un-ironically spend 16 dollars on a ticket for a movie where a car gets driven out of a plane and somehow this makes sense as a plot device. Pretend that actually there is no Furious 7 at all. People got over the whole thing after Tokyo Drift and moved on to bigger and shittier franchises. Right now you have the chance to turn around and forget that part of you is standing there alone on the street corner, embarrassing just to look at because they’re so unaware of what people must think. You could drop your bag and let the oranges tip over and spill into the street. One of them might roll across the road and onto the feet of your doppelgänger, but you’d never even have to know if they picked it up or not.
Your seconds have passed. You have to make a decision. Across the street, your doppelgänger takes a half step closer to you. The bag of oranges in your hands wobbles dangerously.
Upon closer inspection it isn’t your doppelgänger at all. The nose is totally wrong and they aren’t even the same height as you. And look, behind them, someone is coming out to join them on the street. They’re apologizing for taking so long in the bathroom. They hadn’t seen the movie alone after all. The person who is in no way your doppelgänger turns away from you.
You hope they enjoyed the movie. When they turn back to look at you, you give them a friendly wave. You settle your oranges and move on.
Sasha Landau is a queer California-based writer, though she originally hails from the mountains of North Carolina. She is currently attending UC Santa Cruz, where she’s studying to get her BA in Literature and Film Studies. If you’re interested in finding her elsewhere, you can try the FBI Most Wanted list or her art and writing blog, eitheroracle.tumblr.com.