I’m hiking with a friend. We’re two-and-a-half days from the nearest road. We’re perched on some rocks overlooking a white-granite plateau dotted with small lakes, eating lunch, quite near this spot…
We see a solo hiker a half-mile or so away on the ridge, heading our way. As we eat he walks right up to us and asks if he can hike with us, as he’s tired of hiking alone. We say “Sure,” and share our lunches.
After eating we scramble up the ridge to a high plateau with remarkable inch-high wildflowers miniaturized from the exposure, lack of real soil, and the short growing season at 2500 meters. My friend casually asks our new companion what his name is – and he says MY NAME. It’s a good thing we’re on a plateau, or I would have fallen off. I was literally in shock, and spontaneously pulled out my driver’s license to see if my name was what I always thought it was, or if I’d somehow become someone else. Literally.
My degrees are in Geography; he was a Geologist. He was new the the area, from a state where my mother had distant relatives, but not my father, so if we had ancestors in common they were not within the last several generations. After a while I calmed down (had I known about it then, I would have Tapped to get back in my body), we hiked a while longer, and then went back to our separate camps.
Back home, several weeks later, I was in the process of renting a new apartment. I had asked a landlord to save one for me, but then found one I liked better a few doors away. So I went back to the first apartment and told them I’d changed my mind. They looked at me weird, and said “Fine.” Then I ran into my Double on the street. He had rented that first apartment. He said that they had looked at him weird too, but the names matched, so they didn’t inquire further.
We shared notes about hiking, and two weeks after we had met, we had each been hiking alone 15 kilometers from the first hike, both traversing the same mountain in different directions, and we didn’t cross paths. We ran into each other a couple of times, and he asked to use the swimming pool at my apartment complex. The whole scenario still kind of freaked me out, so while our interactions were very cordial, I regrettably shied away from establishing greater contact. But we weren’t done.
A couple of years later I moved to another city. My partner at the time was named (making up a name here) Susy Jones at birth, but she was enrolled in a professional school and thought Susy would not sound formal enough, so she had it legally changed to Susan. About six months after moving I got a call from my bank.
They had an abandoned account, shared by one Susy Jones and myself (or at least, my name), at a branch about a mile from where I’d lived in the first city, but a branch that I’d never had an account at. We went down to the local bank branch, and both social security numbers were totally different, so as far as the bank was concerned, case closed. Who knows for sure, but I’m willing to bet that it was my Geologist friend, with a partner whose name was the same as the one my partner was no longer using.
Lots of “coincidences,” eh? It’s not the way I would have imagined a Double might work, were there such a thing.