Blonde Suburban Doppelganger

By:
KathrynAHiggins@aol.com

When to the silver SUV I schlepped

pushing a cart that veered to the left,

I reached for keys which I usually kept

hooked to my bag to foil theft.

 

I pushed the button; heard the chirp

although a distance it seemed to cross;

called to my son, the little twerp

and began unloading milk and sauce.

 

“Mom,” said Matthew, with concern,

a luxury for which I had no time.

“Get in the car” I snapped in turn

and to my door I bent to climb.

 

I went to put key in ignition

when all at once I felt a chill

a horrible lack of recognition

of seat, of cup, of car, of nil!

 

“Where’s my stuff?” I asked my boy

who’d climbed uncertainly in the back,

“I do not appreciate this decoy

my dirty towel, my bills? My snack?”

 

“Mom,” he tried again; I turned

to see what new crime he contemplated

but when I saw the back I learned

and from fault he was then exculpated.

 

This gleaming shiny silvery jeep

with tidy mug and Burberry scarf

did not match at all my heap

festooned with garbage and flecked with barf.

 

Christened by my kids and me

with dirt and gum and single socks

my car just simply could not be

this one that held designer frocks.

 

“Hush!” I said now that I knew

we were in the wrong SUV —

(would this one’s owner take mine in lieu

knowing what I did of me?)

 

My senses were on combat high

as I reviewed our situation:

how we got in there and why —

I prepared for our evacuation.

 

Then I saw my old jalopy

facing hers, as if a mirror

had found a twin just not as sloppy

cleaner, neater, richer, dearer.

 

I’ll take Her car, I paused to think,

and trade in for a better life —

I’ll bag my husband and my shrink

and be a better sort of wife.

 

Yes, I’ll take it and I’ll flee

away from my suburban jailors:

husband, housework, children three,

laundry, cooking, coupon-mailers.

 

I flipped the visor mirror and saw

the doppelganger wanna-be

a disheveled blonde with frowning maw

an evil, tired side of me.

 

I slumped back in her leather seat

noticed her Gucci sunglasses there

imagined her country club so neat —

God, we’d feel like asses there.

 

Swaddled in her premium automobile

I was o’ertaken by pleasant daydreams of

Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels,

lunches at the Golden Dove.

 

Benefits aboard a yacht

decked out in Dolce and Gabbana —

“Some little nothing I just bought,”

Sipping Cristal with Ivanna.

 

In this reverie I sat

in a sort of mental attack

when “Mom” I heard again from Matt

who’d been so quiet in the back.

 

I turned to see my little son

who looked at me with eyes so wide,

my innocent and trusting one

not knowing I was Mr. Hyde.

 

I realized then that no matter how pampered

filled with serenity and joy

my doppelganger’s life was hampered

by lack of my kids — girls and boy.

 

If she had kids and so she did

according to her decorations

despite their brilliance mine outbid

them in winning my affections.

 

I could not make the trade; I sighed

“Let’s Go!” I said to my little Pea

when coming out of the store I spied

a thinner replica of me.

 

“Get Out!” I hissed and grabbed the food

and toilet paper by the load

I snatched the cart and Matt I shooed

out of the car and down the road.

 

Again my key; my car chirped back

I hustled my little boy inside —

he found his book, his toy, his snack

and there he waited while I spied.

 

My double came and claimed her car

no inkling did she have of me

despite the door I left ajar

and my lost can of Pepsi Free.

 

Tossing her designer purse

she mounted her shiny silvery throne

I ducked and hissed a little curse

as my steering wheel hit my bone.

 

She drove off talking on her phone

about exciting things no doubt.

I said to Matthew “Let’s go home”

and “Behave or you’ll get a timeout.”

 

Filled with a newfound thankfulness I drove

home to my modest little dwelling

and with new eagerness I strove

to find my children without yelling.

 

“Come and give your mom a hug!”

I said to urchins one two three.

“Wait — what have you done to the rug?”

And so ended our brief jubilee.

 

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One thought on “Blonde Suburban Doppelganger

  1. Love this, Kathryn, probably because it happened to me–getting into a duplicate Subaru. The driver behind the wheel politely asked, “Can I help you?” So chagrined!

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