Marissa and I met twenty-one years ago tomorrow. Our first date included walking around Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. Two months later, we took our first trip together, to Brooklyn and Manhattan. We saw three plays, most memorably Side Show, a musical about Daisy and Violet, the conjoined Hilton sisters.
Last week my father’s twin brother passed away. They looked so much alike, especially when they were younger. I remember how they dressed and tried to see if we could tell the difference between them. My cousins cried because they couldn’t. I identified my father by his wedding ring. Seeing the photographs in my uncle’s online obituary, it’s like reading of my own father’s death.
I dearly wish I could have attended his service on Monday. Instead, on that day I was on a conference panel at Ole Miss. On the flights there, I watched Three Identical Strangers. Because I hadn’t heard anything at the time about these young men who discovered each other as triplets in the early 1980s, I first thought the film was a mockumentary. Instead, it turned out to be a throughly engaging movie that captures the joy of discovering long-lost siblings, explores the nature of personal identity in relation to nature vs. nurture, and interrogates ethical issues in scientific research. Yesterday, driving from Oxford to the airport, I arrived at Elvis’ Graceland too early to visit his gravesite. I took a quick photo before making my way home.