Two things this week have led me to believe that there is another Ben Collins that’s getting himself confused with me. It’s not the race car driver or football player, and I don’t think it’s the computer hacker either (which is who you’ll find on Wikipedia), because both of them are too young to fit the character of my alternative person.
At customs on Thursday I was asked if I ever lived in New york. I answered "yes" and the customs agent gave me a concerned look. We established that I had lived in Manhattan and not White Plains, then he typed for about ten seconds and handed back my passport. I have no idea what that means. Is there another Ben Collins living in New York that managed to get himself on a watch list? Maybe my cell phone is now tapped. I’m sure knowing where I plan to meet for bike rides, whether or not I plan to be home for dinner (the joys of living with parents 🙂 ), and what Dr. Michael McMahon thinks of my workouts is really interesting to some government agent, but unless they think "T2" is some kind of code, it would wasted money.
After this confusion passed without explanation, I traveled home to find a stack of mail that had come while I was gone. There were my tickets to Lunafest, some bills, and – on the bottom – a membership card to the American Association of Retired Persons. Now, it’s true that I have recently quit working as an engineer, and have no immediate plans of starting another full-time job, but I would not consider myself retired. For one thing, in order to retire you must have enough money saved to live off of. This is in stark contrast to the complete lack of money I have saved – having recently graduated from a private school education, and then blown my engineer salary on such luxuries as flying to Hamburg for a triathlon.
The only conclusion I can draw from these two identity confusions is that there must be somebody over the age of 55 named Ben Collins, who is a recently retired international terrorist.