In a state of half-delirium on the Tube (it may have been work, or then again, it may have been a large amount of drugs - but since I don't recall taking that many drugs, I'm going to go with work), I noticed a couple sitting opposite me. Something about them transfixed me. I was quite blatantly staring, in fact, and I think I scared the guy, but to hell with that - he was... well... me.
Okay, before you go and find something more interesting to read, let me point out that this isn't a post about seeing myself in the window and thinking that I look different. That sort of stuff tends to lead to poetry. In this case, there was a guy sitting opposite me who looked exactly like me with deliberate mistakes here and there. His face was fuller, his shoulders were broader, he had more stubble and curlier hair (my hair is curly, but his was curly short; mine only curls when long) - oh, and he was in a Starbucks uniform - but his facial structure was the same, his hands were basically mine and he wore the same expression I wear when on the Tube. The one that says, "yes, I'm here, so what?... so are you."
But what struck me was his girlfriend.
Okay, she didn't actually look like my girlfriend. She was an East Asian with long, shiny black hair. But she wore square glasses, and the expressions she had on her face... well, I knew those expressions so well. And her eyes. Her eyes were my girlfriend's. The way they looked and even moved. Of course, the fact that this girl then put her head on her boy's shoulder and closed those eyes clinched it.
Was I looking at an alternative me? The me where I actually got that job at Starbucks and had nothing else to go back to post-university? The one with the Oriental girlfriend, hair makeover, cool coat, scrappy trousers and clearly more money than sense, despite working at Starbucks (he had a bag from Harrods)? I mean, they just seemed so familiar. So... me.
My iPod switched randomly to Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. As not-me put his head down to rest on not-my-girlfriend's, the music swelled into my head. And maybe a little into my life, as well.