I thought doppelgangers were the stuff of legend and horror movies.
It just didn’t seem possible that anyone else out there could look as stunningly handsome as yours truly.
But then there was this time in my life when I applied for job in Honolulu and now I’m not so sure.
Yeah, seriously, Honolulu: sunshine, luaus, ukuleles, Steve McGarrett, the whole Hawaiian fantasy.
Now let’s all pause for a moment and try to imagine me, a lifelong Brooklyn knucklehead living in the Aloha State.
I went to Hawaii on vacation a few years ago and loved it. So when I saw ad for a job that matched my skills, I sent in my resume just as for a laugh. I never thought anyone would ever get back to me.
Well, they did. The editor of this particular publication shot me an email within days of my response and we set up phone interview.
We talked for over an hour and I have to say this interview was more intense than many of the face-to-face job encounters I’ve had with prospective employers.
The editor asked me every conceivable question about writing and reporting. It was challenging, but I was grateful for the experience. I hadn’t had an interview in years and it felt good to be back in the game.
The editor told me he would go back to his supervisors and get back in touch with me. And then he had one final question.
“Are you still interested in the job?”
“Yes,” I said, almost truthfully.
I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to be honest.
Hawaii sounded fabulous, but I wasn’t sure if the job would be a good fit for me.
I spent the next several weeks in a semi-dream. What if I got the job? Could I really move to the other side of the world and live happily in the land of pineapples and Do Ho?
Every time I walked into one my local stores—dry cleaners, fruit stand, supermarket—I wondered if this would be one of the last times I ever came here?
I've made hating winter into a secondhand religion and now here I was about to escape the frigid temperatures forever and it actually bothered me. Complaining about the cold weather is such a large segment of my life—could I survive without it?
And what if things—God forbid—didn’t work out? I’d be on an island in the Pacific with no place to go.
But while I was going through all this self-inflicted misery, the weather changed, I got sick, and then I started thinking, you know, maybe this Hawaii thing ain’t so bad after all.
The only problem was the editor had disappeared. I waited a month before writing to him and he wrote back saying “we’re still going through the process.”
Fine. I could hold out. I had waited this long, what’s another week or so? Then another month went by and still I heard nothing. I didn’t want to piss the guy off, but I wanted to show him that I was still interested. And I also wanted to wrap this thing up, quite frankly.
So I wrote to him again and found out that I had been worrying about absolutely nothing.
“We decided to go in another direction,” he wrote.
Now I can handle rejection, I really can. It was my best friend in high school.
But so much of rejection depends upon the other party’s choice of words and a line like “going in another direction” pushes me into “Psycho” country—screaming violins and all.
Being from Brooklyn my first inclination was to point down to my crotch and say, “Hey, I gotcha your direction right heah, buddy!”
But at least I had an answer. I could go to my dry cleaners without having to hug the owner goodbye.
Then one day I made the mistake of looking at the publication online to see who had gotten the job and I nearly fell off my chair.
The guy was my fucking clone.
He had a shaved head and he came from the East Coast—just like me. The editor never saw me in the flesh, but I still wonder if he didn’t hire the wrong guy by mistake. Or maybe he thinks all hairless white guys are interchangeable like spark plugs.
I’ve got half a mind to fly out to Hawaii, take a seat at this guy’s desk, and see if anyone can tell the difference.
I ranted about this incredible injustice online to a friend and she wrote back a simple question.
Why are you looking at a publication that your aren’t working for?
Well…yes, there’s that. I really should move on, forget the past, and go in another direction.
It would’ve been very painful leaving my family and friends. And I’m not sure I’d be happy in a place so different from New York.
But I still can’t help but wonder how it all would’ve worked out if I had gotten the job instead of my doppelganger.