Drop #14: Lookalike

‘Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Meat Loaf?”

‘Say what?’

‘Meat Loaf, the singer. You look just like him.’

‘What are you trying to say, man?’

‘That I think you look like Meat Loaf.’

The man had boarded the train three stops back, sitting alone on the adjacent two-seater, and Jerry had been trying to place the face ever since. The moment of recognition had been sublime.

‘You talking about that fat guy from the eighties?’

‘More like 70’s,’ Jerry said, ‘though his career has spanned decades. He made a bunch of albums and he’s been in loads of movies. He played Eddie in Rocky Horror.’

‘Never saw it.’

‘He played Bob Paulson in Fight Club.’

‘The dude with the moobs?’

‘Yeah, that’s him!’

‘You saying I look like that guy?’ The man swung his legs into the aisle to face Jerry.

‘No one ever told you that?’

‘No. They didn’t.’

‘Really? I can totally see it.’

‘So you’re saying I’m ugly, basically?”

‘Not at all. You share a couple of his features, that’s all.’

‘You know, I don’t think I like what you’re saying. In fact, I’m pretty sure I got a problem with it.’

‘Well, I didn’t mean anything by it.’

‘Don’t really matter what you meant, does it?’ The man leaned forward on his elbows, his face now a foot from Jerry’s.

‘Well, it might, right?’ Jerry still faced forward, only turning his head to address the man.

‘Wrong. It only matters that you said I look like a fat weirdo with moobs, and I’m taking offence to that.’

‘Well, I didn’t say exactly that. Resemblance is an imprecise affair.’ Jerry repositioned himself now to better face the man. There wasn’t enough room for two sets of legs. ‘I mean, you obviously don’t have man boobs.’

‘You know, I don’t like being insulted.’ The man smiled cynically, like tough guys do in movies when they toy with the weak. ‘I take words real serious, and you just said words I don’t like. You have to learn how to watch your words in this world, or you’ll find trouble.’

‘Didn’t mean anything by it.’

‘I think you might need to learn a lesson. Right now, right here on this train. I think I have to show you what happens when you insult the wrong guy.’ The man reached into his jacket pocket and revealed an inch of a knife’s hilt. ‘I think I’m going to have to show you.’

‘Oh, that won’t be necessary, really. I apologize if I offended you. I really didn’t mean it.’

‘Maybe it’s too late to apologize. Maybe you’ll only get it if I cut you.’

‘Oh, no. I’ll remember. I guarantee it. But really, I meant nothing by it. They say I look like people all the time, and one guy in particular—say, who do you think I look like?”

‘I’m not up for games, man.’

‘No, come on. Don’t I remind you of any one?’ Jerry straightened his chin, then turned to display his profile.

‘I said I was going to cut you, man!’

‘Don’t you see it?’ Jerry asked, looking squarely at the man again.

‘What are you trying to do here?’

‘Don’t I remind you of someone?’

‘No. Maybe. I don’t know.’

‘Steve Buscemi! Don’t I look just like Steve Buscemi?”

‘Steve Buscemi?’

‘Yeah. You know, from Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Big Lebowski. They say I look just like him.’

‘OK. I think I know the guy.’

‘Sure you do. He was in a bunch of Adam Sandler movies too.’

‘Oh yeah, the YOU CAN DO IT guy.’

‘No. That was Rob Schneider. I’m talking about this guy.’ Jerry pulled out his iPhone, unlocked it and quickly found a pic. ‘Here, take a look.’ He posed again to show off his face.

‘Yeah. That’s the dude I was thinking of. Shit,’ the man said, looking back and forth between Jerry and the screen. ‘You do look like this mutha fucka. You look just like him.’

‘See!’

‘Yeah. I totally see it now.’ The man chuckled. ‘Weird looking fuck, isn’t he? Ugly bastard.’

‘Ugly as shit,’ Jerry said, turning to face forward again, smiling.

The man got off at the next stop and the train moved on. The following stop was theirs. Jerry leaned over and gently woke Emma. She’d been sleeping like a baby since they boarded.

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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