Causation # 26119

years ago,
I called my opthamologist’s office
for an appointment.

which one are you? queried the appointments nurse

uh, how many of me are there? I parried

Well! I have right here FIVE from in the Metro Area!

You do realize, I intoned, That
if any two of us happened to be
in the waiting room at the same time
the universe will explode . . .

Oooooh! she cooed. You’re a Trekkie!

It was true.
My roommate at the time
made us watch 3 straight hours of Trekkia
every weekday-night,
Original, TNG, DS9,
on some independent channel in DFW

On weekends I went home to my family,
then drove back early-early.

One Monday, just as I pulled into the office parking lot,
a song that resonated with my grinding commute
came on like thunder,
first rimshot shocks setting the beat,
then Wagnerian violin scraping like Valkeries
so I sat in my car till the storm passed

He was big.
For years I traded on the Goodwill he created
for my benefit, joking,
Just treat me like any other customer; no special treatment . . .
but then some teenage cashier
looked at me peevishly confused, said Wha?
My name, I explained, is a celebrity.
She said, I don’t know who that is.

Now I get emails from this service
that will notify me when I am cited
in academic literature
(5000 times, so far!),
if only I would subscribe,
to the bogus Who’s Who solicitations
I used to get.

Which one am I?
I’m always the other one.
Another one.