For nearly my entire K-12 experience, I was a school walker. I walked to school. My house was perfectly positioned to be nearly equidistant to all the school buildings within Thornapple Kellogg Schools. But for a brief time in first grade, before my house was finished, I rode the bus to school.
My family was living in Indian Vally Campground in a fifth wheel camper borrowed from my mom’s parents while the builders were working on our house in the village. I have a feeling that living in a campground is one step below living in a trailer park, but I had some good times there. Sure, we had to walk up the hill to the bathhouse in order to shower, but we also had campfires regularly, so I guess it was okay.
But my story isn’t about campground life. I just got sidetracked. My story is about the other Josh Mosey who rode my bus to school.
On my way home one day, I must have left my lunchbox on the bus. It was an awesome lunchbox, officially licensed by the cartoon, “Ducktales”, which was one of my favorite shows. My mom, having the foresight that motherhood provides and knowing my tendency to forget things, wisely inscribed my name upon the interior of the lunchbox, so that when I lost it, it might be returned to me.
In fact, this was the case when, in the days after leaving said lunchbox on the bus, my bus driver showed me the lunchbox and asked if it was mine.
“It looks like mine,” I said. “But let me make sure.”
I opened the box to see the name “Josh Mosey” written inside.
“Um,” I said. “Nope, this isn’t mine.”
“But that’s your name,” said the driver.
“But my mom wrote my name in black marker,” I protested. “This one says ‘Josh Mosey’ in blue. It must belong to the other Josh Mosey.”
Suddenly, my older brother steps up.
“I’ll take it for him,” he said, grabbing the box and my hand and taking us both off the bus and back to our camper.
“But that isn’t my lunchbox,” I told him.
I was so convinced that I was right in remembering the color of marker in which my name was written that I created my own doppelganger.
I’m fairly certain now that I just remembered the color wrong, that the box with blue lettering really was mine all along, but sometimes I still wonder. Is there another Josh Mosey out there? What has become of him? And what does he think of me?