As so many times before and to come --- I found myself jogging --- just jogging a nice slowish pace but with good form and ease. Running cross-country at a good sports school like Aquinas will do that to you. The coaches insisted on good form and disciplined self-expectation. So a casual 10-mile run “just for fun” is downright easy and pleasurable.
It was dusk quickly turning to nightfall. I could still see pretty well, even crossing from Chili over to West Ave and then crossing unlit Danforth Park when it was still a park. It would be years before the ill-conceived low-income high rise towers would be built on this spot and then demolished. This was still where city and country coincide. This part of the park was clearly an old apple orchard where neighborhood kids now play.
I got to my parent’s house just as it was getting too dark to keep running – perfect! And that’s when and where I met him. Right in my own yard close to the front door. An old but reasonably fit looking guy. Somewhat overweight but with a smile on his face and completely disarming demeanor. As we approached each other, I noticed we both were wearing exactly the same clothes: Casual khakis with short-sleeved jungle shirt, cheap white running shoes, V-neck T. Identical short-cropped “military” hair --- blonde or premature gray --- hard to tell in the twilight.
Then we realized it was me – me – identically me! I might as well have been standing in front of a full-length mirror. Except his right was indeed his right --- no handedness flip as in a mirror. That was the undeniable give-away. And when we shook hands, it was the proper right-right. No mirror will allow that! So we knew I was meeting myself for the first time as another. More identical than identical twins. Tautologically identical – self meets self.
We must admit it was in some sense creepy. Not the identity operator itself – we are accustomed to that with our intimate familiarity with quantum mechanics. More the knowledge that he and I knew everything about each other – and I mean everything! The good, the bad, the embarrassing, the successes and failures, blemishes and sins --- oh the sins! But we exchanged smiles, realizing it was all moot. To the extent that one can know oneself – we certainly had nothing that we could hide.
And then it struck us. This might just be a bit like when we will meet God. In fact – he will know us far better than we do ourselves. And the assessment will be correct and just – beyond all else just.
And as many times before and to come – I awakened from the lucid dream and dressed for work: Casual khakis with short-sleeved jungle shirt, cheap white running shoes, V-neck T.
© 2012 Thomas Dey - 3/1/12