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Monday, March 22, 2004

I don't know how this appeared on my computer, but for a moment I thought I saw my name there. Well, it is there, if you subtract the other letters. (My real name, for those of you who know it.)

Don't you hate it when you lose yourself?

Years ago, I took a picture of a very distant cousin. Two months later I developed that roll of film. When I came to my cousin's photo I thought for a long, long time, "Is that my cousin? Or is that me?"

My family is so inbred that the cousins from across the village, despite the addition of foreign matter to our redundant gene pool, all look like me. Indistinguishable are we.

Then there is M. I am always mistaken for M. from Ottawa. Whoever M. is, I look so much like this person, that at one point, two random people on the street, in different parts of Vancouver on the same day, approached me. "M., long time no see!" There were other cases of M.'s and my existences colliding.

My middle name is also M. Whenever someone mistook me for M., I thought, "This person must know me. But why are they using my middle name? I never go by that." After a few minutes of explanations, I would get: "So you are not M. from Ottawa?"

M. must be another cousin from a neighbouring village in the Transylvanian homeland.

Don't take me for a complainer. There are benefits to the generic look. I could be a model. I could mastermind crimes so that M. from Ottawa suffers the consequences. I could blend in with the curtains during botched diamond heists - while the police handcuff my cohorts I slip quietly out of the museum. Working with my cousin, we could amaze onlookers with my ability to be in two places at once. Not to mention the applications for a kleptoparasitic lifestyle.

Still, I envy unique individuals. Every glance at a mirror proves that they are still themselves. In group shots, they can immediately locate themselves. There is no danger of being arrested for shoplifting when it was really your evil cousin who made off with all those bottles of Celine Dion perfume. Nor do people at potluck dinners stop you from filling your plate "because you've already had enough."

Alas, I am doomed to matching the living room set. Instead of a jaunty plaid to upset the polka dots, I dissolve into a replica of the wallpaper pattern. Dang it.

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