Everyone knows that couple.
The ones who look more like siblings than lovers. The ones who make everyone a wee bit uncomfortable when they start making out at the bar or the club or the bingo parlor. The ones whose public displays of affection make you feel as if you’ve just stumbled into some backwoods family reunion.
You know that you know these people, and they horrify as much as they fascinate.
In our circle, that couple was Gabe and Steph.
Same height. Same facial structure. Same slight build. With similarly shaggy manes, they almost looked exactly the same from behind. And on more than one occasion, I thought I’d tapped one of them on the shoulder, only to find the other turning around to greet me.
The kicker was the hair, an exotic strawberry-blonde that would have been impossible to recreate from a bottle. They both had this exact, precise hair color — the sort of coincidence you’d have to chalk up to genetics. And when they sat next to each other, it was this simple: If you had eyes, you figured they were brother and sister.
Only, they weren’t. And, just to make things ickier, there was no act of affection that they weren’t above sharing with the world.
Kissing, hugging, groping, hands down each others trousers, this sort of thing. And it just looked so… weird. Like it shouldn’t be happening. Like it had to be stopped. Like they couldn’t possibly be allowed to spawn for fear that it would hurl our measly planet toward the apocalypse.
Comments from the group were kept to a minimum, save for one evening when Donna, in day two of a four day tequila bender, explained to Gabe that Steph was essentially him “with boobs and a somewhat cuter mouth.” He just shrugged and laughed and noted that while everyone said they looked alike, they “just didn’t see it.”
Myself, I’d be in the biggest quandary of my life. Once I found me, would I ever be able to dump me? And what would dumping me say about me? Even worse, what if me wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. I mean, if I couldn’t score a date with a girl who looked just like me, doesn’t that, in some bizarre cosmic sense, cancel me out completely? I mean, if me doesn’t like me, where the fuck do I turn?
Anyway, Gabe and Steph eventually parted ways, with Gabe taking up with a black girl. Steph moved to New York City and I hooked up with her for drinks one night when I was out there on business. Our heads dizzy with booze, we flitted back to her place where she threw me against the wall and kissed me hard. Gotta say I liked it, and after about fifteen minutes of torturous dry-humping, I was begging her to sit on my face.
But as she slowly slinked out of her jeans, as much as I struggled to fight it, somehow all I could visualize was Gabe’s scrawny ass in a tiny red thong.
And the mood, as they say, was crushed.