I've got Google Alerts set up so that whenever my name or the title of one of my books pops up on the Internet, I get a little note about it. This morning brought me a newspaper article written by a reporter whose name is almost the same as mine and was misspelled in a photo credit to be exactly the same as mine, thereby tickling the strands of my Web feelers.
What struck me as odd is that this near-Brian Fies is doing nearly the same job I did when I graduated from college almost 30 years ago: writing about high school girls' sports for a small daily newspaper. His article is about volleyball while I mostly covered basketball, but close enough. In my case, I moved from part-time sports writer to full-time city-beat reporter within a few months, accumulating the writing experience and clips that served me well since. I can't help but wonder if this Bizarro-Fies is duplicating my life, just displaced a couple of decades. What if he looks like a young me? What if he just married a smart and beautiful girl named Karen? I'm tempted to warn him about the twins coming his way in a few years (run, Brian, run!).
I'm reminded of a webcomic by Scott McCloud titled "The Right Number" about a man who misdials his girlfriend's phone number by one digit and calls a woman who is almost exactly like his girlfriend in every respect, except a little better. Maybe this guy is the new, improved Brian 2.0. As long as he isn't required to hunt me down and kill me, we'll co-exist just fine.
Best of luck to you, Brian. I could tell you a few things, but you'll have more fun figuring them out for yourself.