and general conjuring to purge yourself of what surely is some kind of spell, and a portent of bad things to come.
There is, of course, the German idea of the doppelganger, "double-goer", ("secret sharer" in Joseph Conrad)--usually a very bad portent.
But this I fear, is my own doublegoer who is telling me, as to Melvin Mole, the elusive burrowing criminal escapee out in an old MAD Magazine: "YOU"VE DUG YOUR LAST HOLE, MOLE! YOU'RE UNDER CONTROL. WE ARE PUTTING YOU INTO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT!!
Well, I have been in something like solitary confinemen for the past few years. There has only been one relationship and poof! the dancing woman was gone again.
Back to your own devices and living inside your own head.
"WE ARE PUTTING YOU INTO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT."
I have not even a single toothpick with which to dig my way out of my prison, which was Melvin's sole talent in MAD #2.
("DIG!. DIG! HUH! DIG! DIG! DIG!)
I had written to Willie Elder, creator of Melvin Mole and he was gracious enough to say, "You are now one of us."
This, following my admission that I had written a thesis on MAD Magazine and specifically on the character Melvin Mole," A Man out of Control.
Kind, gentle genius, Mr. Elder.
But he wrote of the Underground Man.
Like Dostoevsky. Yeah.
Well, the only thing I have in commmon with either Melvin Mole or Dostoevky (and his own eerie sermon) is that I've been totally out of control all this week, and on top of it, sick as a shark with broken teeth.
Too many extractions are like a shot to the head.
I am hallucinating and frequently in pain.
But this afternoon is no illusion.
I met my doppelganger, or doublegoer, and this encounter has scared the daylights out of me.
On the surface, it wasn't much of an event. Just someone who happened to have the same last name as my own. First name was Leonid.
Here was someone the same age as me, with the same last name, and probably the same life experience.
"You are a "Boyar", a big-wig," Leonid has said, seeing the way I was dressed and the way I carried on.
"Used to be. But went for a dump."
"Well, that's how it goes. You make a fortune and then life changes."
Leonid Prokopchuk was a pharmacist, and he filled my prescription.
I came back to the apartment feeling as if I'd somehow seen ghost..
Saw my doppelganger?
I shuddered at the feeling of someone walking over my grave.
Could have been the vodka I'd been swilling to hold off the pain? Vodka can lead to flights of the imagination, images of Percy Bysshe Shelley and others who had fired magazinefulls of pistol shot at the doublegoer in the window; Thomas Mann.
Certainly not the fault of Leonid Prokopchuk, who looked a hell of a lot like me, and unlike me, an apparently very nice guy.
But draw a circle round him twice. And damn the pain killers. I'm reaching for another bottle.
I gotta have a talk with God.
Or maybe I will.