June 25: on being falsely accused

(This is a guest piece fom BOXETTE)

A friend thought she saw me at a meeting the other day. I wasn’t at the event, but someone who looked like me was. And that person spent seventy minutes ignoring my friend.

– How did you feel? I ask.

– Furious.

– Didn’t you realise she wasn’t me?

– Only later. But I’m still angry with you.

This happens a lot. I’ll go somewhere for the first time and people will stage-whisper: it’s amazing how she dares to show herself after last year.

When we work out I couldn’t possibly have met them, let alone stay at that particular B and B, they start tutting that I could tell such a bare-faced lie.

This is complicated by the vague uneasiness that I experience in new social situations. I’m terrible at recognising people I have met before, even several times, especially if they have changed their shoes.

So whilst I’m fairly sure I haven’t broken the law (unless when sleepwalking), there’s a nagging doubt that I may have encountered my accusers somewhere, in a doctor’s waiting room or Lidl, and done something unspeakable that they only discuss after I’ve left. It’s like the time a pigeon poo dropped from an overhead branch onto my jacket. I felt a soft thud but only noticed when I got home.

It would stop me going out entirely if it weren’t for the need to rein in my doppelganger to clear up the mess she is making of my life. She’s undoubtedly having more fun (I have no time for frivolity). She’s also enjoying a kind of post-punk freedom of expression, which is deeply unfair because I never allow myself to speak out of turn. Without a doubt, she’s been losing friends all over the place, and making more interesting ones that I don’t know about.

I wonder whether her new acquaintances are mistaking me for her, disappointed that she has become so dull, so aloof and so ill-advised in fashion purchases.

I hope they’re offended. It would serve her right.










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