Strange, unfortunate men who look like me


OK, I have a quick crime story to post, but I don’t want to talk about the crime.
I’ll just say this high school girl, Norma Lopez, disappeared on July 15, 2010, while walking home in Moreno Valley, in SoCal’s Inland Empire. The mystery remained unsolved for a year and a half, but in the past couple of weeks police arrested a suspect in the murder, Jesse Perez Torres, and DNA linking Torres to the killing have surfaced. In the ensuing LA area news coverage, photographs of Torres have flooded the news. When I first saw photos, my heart sank.







When I first saw Torres’ face I felt as if I was staring in a mirror. OK, not exactly, but close. He looks exactly like me.
I’m overly conscious of my appearance and the idiosyncrasies of my Mexican appearance. The dead eyes, the hook nose, the rough olive skin, the short hair, ugh! I was Jesse Torres. Being the great believer of physiognomies, I of course suspect there is deeper symbolism written into our physical appearance. Those who look alike, act alike. I believe this. I experience it and it is generally borne out in reality. The fact that there is an accused sex killer in the Mexican-American southern California suburban community who looks like me is sorta disconcerting. I, personally, am not a sex killer, but some would accuse me of being “unusual.” I’ve never struck or choked a woman, unlike Torres, but I don’t exactly fulfill the chorus of popular behavior. I’m one of those “weirdos” that Torres is now recounted as being by on of his suspicious former neighbors.


I saw a Torres side profile in court. The dude is me.







I really fucking hate it when a public figure looks like me. I like to think I’m a swowflake. No one approaches me. But they do!
I always look like distasteful people. My physiognomy is apparently common. Fine enough. I just don’t want my physiognomy to be connected with blatant deviant or uncouth behavior. If people who look like me behave and excel, cool! But this Torres piece of crap adds absolutely nothing redeeming to my physiological legacy.


Here is a short list of people I’ve been told I resemble.
Put your 3D glasses on.


Tony Shalhoub


The berserk OCD detective from the USA series, “Monk.” In many ways, I do mimic the behavior of this lunatic cop. I repeat personally procedural steps all day long; none of them are productive or fruitful but they ease my mind. Repetitive behavior soothes my mind. My close friends laugh at my repetition. Yet, I can piece together seemingly unrelated and disparate pieces of information with canny precision. I was a Hardy boy before they were born!



I visited Yosemite National Park in 2003 with my then-wife, and son. On the way back, we stopped at a small diner for breakfast and while we ate at a table, one of the counter patrons, an older grizzled guy with silver hair, got up and approached our table. He looked at me and told me I looked exactly like that “Monk fellow” on television. I’d never seen the Monk fellow. I immediately checked it out and I could not deny the resemblance.


Al Pacino


Who needs an Al Pacino summary?
The dude has been in so much, but still, his narrative never changes, does it? He always plays the seasoned and slowly decommissioned veteran of whatever FILL IN THE BLANKS you wish him to. Yet, at the bottom of his bluster and crusty boldness there is a heart of gold, an iota of warmth and humanity. But it usually loses out to the immediate primal urges of his murderous, amoral character. Mm, close. I’m not a murderer, but I am a rugged and uncouth character. I have my amoral moments. No one has ever accused me of being fancy but I do love the scent of a pretty woman.





One of my Korean ex in-laws was fond of reminding me every time I visited of how much I looked like “Arl Pacheena.” He was flabbergasted at the striking resemblance. Sometimes I wondered if he thought maybe I was! I believe the resemblance’s pinnacle happened during the “Scent Of A Woman” feature.


Sal Mineo


The pretty “Rebel Without A Cause” glamour boy who was eventually stabbed to death in his own West Hollywood carport. He was the center of many scandalous gay rumors which were eventually proved…correct. I suppose people live in West Hollywood for many good reasons. Whatever. Still, his death was tragic and many investigations pointed to a “serial robber” in the area who had attacked in the same manner previously (including women). There was no lusted-after “gay tie-in” here. He was the victim of a random murder and his homosexuality was not the cause, much to the dismay of the local news media. I’m not a pretty boy and I hardly exude the gay vibe, so the resemblance seems to be only physical, and even then, it’s not horribly strong.





In the early 90’s, my friend Keith worked for the USPS. One night, he invited me an office party thrown by a blonde, 40-something co-worker and her husband. The moment she answered the door, she told me I reminded her of Sal Mineo. I had no Goddamned idea who Sal Mineo was. But in the ensuing conversation I realized something: she liked Sal Mineo a whole lot! We talked and flirted and I didn’t seem to mind that her husband was nearby. I was drunk as hell, and so was she. Her husband lingered trustfully throughout the house, mingling. I began hitting on her. We rolled around on the cold, wet grass. I would have had a good shot with her but I hit a disorienting plateau in which I began puking like a sick slut. I puked my guts out in her bushes. She stopped hanging out with me. Booze triumphed over pussy, which is the way it should be.


Joey Ammo


The lead singer of Birdbrain. They sang in the soundtrack of the original Wes Craven “Scream” movie. There is only one video of their performance. There is not much to go off for personal reference. I have nothing to share of this guy. He sang a song, played the guitar…





However, I will say, he bears the most striking resemblance to me of the whole group.




He was pointed out to me by some roaming mail-deliverying hipster at work.


He now calls me Joey Ammo.
I am Joey.


I am all of them.