Some years after I'd lost my father, my mom told me about an encounter she had one afternoon.
Walking across Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, she came upon a man who looked like a carbon copy of my father. A perfect double.
It stopped her cold.
She had her glasses in her hand and started to put them on, and then.... she didn't. She just stood there and watched him approach.
She told me, "I didn't want a better look... I knew it wasn't your father. It just felt so nice, in that moment, to just imagine that it was really him. He had a big smile on his face. It felt so good to see him again. It felt like it used to."
The man brushed right past her. The light changed. Cars honked. She hurried to the other side of the road, and continued on.
I couldn't get the scene out of my head.
It haunted me. I thought about it. I dreamt about it. I replayed it over and over in my head. Who was he? Where did he come from? What if they'd met? What if she didn't tell him he was a double?
And so I started to sketch out a story.