I remember sitting on the train one winter evening, staring absently past my own reflection into a delightful fall of snow, when, briefly, another train heading the same direction at roughly the same speed introduced my reflection into a fleeting multiverse. There we were, my fellow passengers and I, amid the neighboring commuters, sitting atop and among them—in fact, almost indiscernible from them, so wonderful was the effect. I unraveled that overlapping image. I quickly tabulated each pendulous bag, each curl and nape and patterned coat, and drew an invisible line to its double.
Gradually, the other train pulled ahead, leaving our vanilla-tinged ghosts suspended among the gentle white flakes in the machinery of night. Perhaps my own double—the bust with the basic beard, russet hair and black pupils who stared back at me—would preserve in his memory the fellow who would eventually write this paragraph, the first of what will be a bigger, more respectable, more competent attempt to capture and catalog our shades.