What’s With Doppelgangers?

Happy New Year, Java-mates! I hope this finds you healthy, somewhat wealthy and wise. 

It’s a new year which means everyone pledges new beginnings. I decided to somewhat go the opposite today. Instead of spending my New Year’s Day making plans for the upcoming year my brain seems to be stuck on old high school folklore. It seems odd but I’ll go with it. 

In what feels like forever ago I was in high school. I was a bit of a hippie chick and had my own sense of style, one that was easily recognized by anyone who knew me. I drove this cute little car that had personality all its own, too. I fondly remember that Dodge Omni and wish I had one today. I’ve never gone so far on one tank of gas. 

There was talk on a regular basis about my having a Doppelganger. Seriously, they would see this other chick in a Dodge Omni and swear it was me when there was no possible way I could have physically been at the scene of the spotting. One time I was in another state. 

My theory at the time, and one I’m sticking with, was that a girl from Kalamazoo (the nearest large town) had a car like mine and was mistaken for me the few (or however many) times she came to our small town.

It wasn’t often that my doppelganger was spotted but enough to have me thinking about it to this day. What finally struck me funny about the whole thing was this thought: If my friends were confused by my abilities to be in two places at once, how did hers feel about it? 

Assuming the resemblance was enough to cause the stir it did I would have to imagine her friends had the same spottings when I went and played around in Kalamazoo. Maybe she was supposed to be in Richland on the days I went to Kalamazoo and her friends were all, “I thought you told me you were going to be gone all day?” and she’d have to defend herself for something she didn’t do. Maybe it happened often enough she could just say, “Doppelganger” and they’d automatically believe her. 

It’s a strange perception twist that I’m enjoying. I can spin that off into all sorts of FantasyLand potential book ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if this theme is brought up again in the Project X Blog Series. 

Being somewhat inquisitive by nature (don’t get a hernia laughing at this one, friends 🙂 ) I decided to do some research on the whole Doppelganger phenomenon. For some reason I had it in my head that there was a psychiatric type thing that had borrowed from this concept. Thus the reason I had to look it up. Freud came to mind. Sometimes a cigar really is a cigar. In the 30 seconds I spent on Wiki I did not find reference to any psychiatric disorders or natures. Thank goodness. 

The word Doppelganger is German. They called it a loanword, something I wasn’t sure I had ever heard phrased that way. This means I learned a couple of things today. The concept of the doppelganger, however, goes as far back as written word and/or hieroglyphs. The Egyptians called it “Ka”. The Vikings and Romans and all major cultures appear to have their own words for the effect. 

Interesting in itself. Going deeper I found that the German version was not a benevolent entity. A paranormal spirit that was a harbinger of bad tidings. If one saw their own doppelganger it was an omen of death. The word has been hijacked in modern times, as well it should. It’s a fun word to say.But I also look back on how many times my friends saw my doppelganger and wonder if bad events happened around those same times. That would be creepy, no? 

I wish I had thought more of this back then. I could have tracked it in a journal or something. It’s a shame we don’t know what has the potential to be important to us later in life. I admit I don’t need to know the answer to that question and it won’t be keeping me up at night. Curiosity and all that. 

And it could make a good book. 

Logically I accept my friends meant it in the modern day parlance as opposed to the paranormal. Illogically I will roll this thought around in my wobbly mixture of ideas and see what pops out. Similar to spaghetti I may have to throw it against the wall and see what sticks. It’ll be fun and should provide for a new posting in the series tomorrow. 

Once again, happy New Year!

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