What do you mean there is more than one of him?!
My surname, Sleep, is an unusual name. It derives from the Cornish language for ‘marshy place’. Couple this with the unusual forename ‘Darren’ and I could be forgiven for thinking I was unique…
Then one day nearly 20 years ago I got an email at work, an environmental science institute.
The email was from myself – at another environmental science institute.
Apparently I was also working in the Canadian forest service as well as in the UK. I actually understand this. If I had been travelling to Canada every day to work it would explain my tiredness. No worries. (Except the only-getting-one-salary part anyway.)
Reading further, the email was from another Darren Sleep who had spotted my name on a scientific paper. Not only are there two Darren Sleeps but both work in environmental science and are roughly the same age. We are connected on Linkedin now, though his career has moved into directorship territory. Oddly, he lived for a time in Quebec, not so far from my friend Dominique in Montreal. He now seems to be in Ontario.
It gets weirder….
Ten years later he got in touch again. He had received an unexpected package from Vodafone. On enquiring he was told that it was a mistake and that it should have gone to Darren Sleep in the UK. He had got in touch to tell me my package was delayed, which was kind of him.
Except…I am not a Vodafone customer….
A quick google search revealed a third Darren Sleep living just across the Pennines in Yorkshire. A picture on his golf club website reveals another beardy middle aged guy. With the same glasses as me…
I am just off to change my name to Abercromby Wonderwaltzer. And maybe shave off half the beard. And wear Elton John specs. And dye my hair blue. That’ll sort them! I will be different!
Abercromby (formerly Darren)