If ever I was tempted to ask a stranger’s permission to snap a photograph, it was yesterday morning. I still regret not doing so. Definitely my loss–and yours.
I had just taken a seat on the shuttle bus to an early plane when I saw a tall, well-dressed man boarding the bus. I looked down for a split second, looked up and saw him getting on the bus, again. Déjà vu? I rubbed my eyes and shook my head and wished for a second cup of coffee.
I got on the plane and found my seat.
I saw the same man, I’d say he was between 45 and 50 years old, walking down the aisle. He was tall, wore a very good charcoal micro-plaid suit, a starched white shirt, gold cufflinks, odd-looking large-framed glasses and a bright red silk tie with a windowpane design and yellow accents.
Right behind him was another man, between 45 and 50. He was tall, wore a very good charcoal micro-plaid suit, a starched white shirt, gold cufflinks, odd-looking large-framed glasses and a bright red silk tie with a windowpane design and yellow accents.
The two men found their seats across the aisle and one row back from me, but before they sat side by side, each took off his suit coat. I confirmed the identical designer suits, shirts, ties, cufflinks, pocket squares, glasses, shoes and haircuts. I strained my neck trying to compare the monograms on their identical French cuffs.
They had identical faces. They were 45-year-old identical twins. Dressed identically.
Then, as the suit coats came off, I saw that one was wearing red suspenders and the other, yellow. Clearly, they were expressing their individuality. In identical ways.
The plane took off. As I looked over my shoulder, I was almost willing to risk air safety and turn on my camera phone, just to capture it—two oversized men, seated tightly side by side in Row 6 of a puddle jumper, impeccably and identically dressed, discussing college baseball. And then, at exactly the same time, they fell asleep, their heads dipped forward, chins resting on their identical red silk ties.
Oh, to know their story.
The only clue they provided — each carried on board a paper shopping bag. One from Brooks Brothers, the other, from the Supreme Court gift shop.