You’re going to think this is really stupid, Reader Zero, but it spooked me, so here goes. I was riding my bike to the gym this morning, and when I was about 100 meters from the intersection, I saw another cyclist going by on the cross street who looked exactly like Dan. He was tallish and thin, wearing jeans and a red plaid shirt, and had some kind of facial hair. The thing that got me was his hat: an orange straw fishing cap.
It’s an unusual kind of hat to have, and there’s a bit of history that goes with it. Dan used to go fishing with his grandfather and uncles when he was growing up, and he remembered them wearing straw hats. Not the Huckleberry Finn kind with the brim going all the way around, more like a baseball cap in shape, but made out of straw. Before we had kids, we used to spend a lot of time car camping out in the boonies of California, Nevada and Oregon. Anytime we’d come to an old-time general store, especially in some town where tourists came to fish, we’d ask around for a cap like that. I don’t remember where or when, but after years of looking, Dan found one. It was sort of a hideous shade of orange, but Dan deemed it good enough.
This was that hat.
It looked so much like him, it sort of freaked me out. The only thing that was really different was that this guy was holding a cup in one hand–presumably coffee. Dan never drank coffee while he rode his bike. If it hadn’t been for that detail, I would have had to follow this person so I could get a look at his face.