The Mast-Head: Not Brad

I can sort of see what people are talking about when they mix up Brad and me

So this guy sidles up to me at Java Nation in Bridgehampton and says, “Hey boss, you got any of those eight-grain loaves today?”

I, by coincidence having made a mental note to stop by Breadzilla in Wainscott that morning, replied, “No, but I’m heading there later.” And then I realized that it had happened again. I had been taken for Brad Thompson, one of its two owners.

The area that spans a triangle from East Hampton to Sag Harbor to Bridgehampton is where this case of mistaken identity happens. It speaks to this being a community of sorts: It’s not so small that people actually know the difference between us and not so large that they can respond to our similarities. It’s actually kind of nice.

It had only been about a month before the awkward situation at the coffee shop over the eight-grain that it had happened last. I had just sat down for a haircut, when the owner of the salon started telling me how he had really enjoyed the falafel sandwich or something the last time he was in the shop. “I get it every time I am over there,” he said.

A fast-talking guy, he was already discussing the differences between doing business in Sag Harbor and doing business in Wainscott and a whole bunch of things before I could find a pause to clear up my identity. Smoothly, though, at a certain point, he figured it out himself, and without a pause segued into something having to do with photography and drone aircraft, and whether The Star might want some of his images to print.

I can sort of see what people are talking about when they mix up Brad and me. We have more or less the same complexion, longish hair with a bit of gray, prominent noses, and eyes that are on the small side. We have similar builds, though I think Brad is taller, and, I concede, the better cook.

Perhaps the best of these encounters came quite a few years ago at Yoga Shanti, a Sag Harbor studio that, in those days, Brad and I both attended. As I was seated on my mat before the class, the teacher, who was seated nearby, and I got into an argument over what I said was my busiest day of the week. No way it could be Wednesday, she insisted, getting a little un-yoga like. It was only after she said something about my baking for the weekend crowd that it dawned on me what was going on.

As for Brad, I don’t remember him saying that anyone has mistaken him for me. I’ll have to ask him the next time I pick up one of those eight-grains, boss.