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The Bourne Disappointment

In: News

Posted By: Doc Holliday at 8:19 am

21 Aug 2009

Seattle, WA - The blond-haired man with the walrus mustache wandered out of Seattle’s Discovery Park three weeks ago, with pressed khakis, an expensive dress shirt, a blue blazer and $600 hidden in his sock. He was uninjured — but said he was confused, lost and frightened.

This much is clear: He is fluent in English, French and German. He possesses a professorial knowledge of European cultural history. He seems to have traveled the world. And he says he is a widower.  But he said he doesn’t know who he is or when he was born.  “I find myself in tears that I don’t know if I want the memories,” he said. “But if you don’t have an identity, it’s very difficult to survive.”

Jon Doe — he’s fine just being called Jon — said he awoke in the woods of Discovery Park on July 30, groggy, disoriented and dehydrated. He had no wallet, passport or day planner.  He recalled only fragments of his life: glimpses of Shanghai during last year’s Beijing Olympics; college professors he said he knew decades ago in Wisconsin, Chicago and New York; and, most troubling, memories of a 24-year-old wife named Tina, from Wisconsin. He seems certain he found her dead in their bed after she miscarried in early 1985 in Chicago.

He recalls little of his childhood or of his profession, he said. He is confident he has spent most of the past two decades abroad. He refers to himself as an “expat.” He knows street directions to the national library in Paris. He knows Vienna, and Googled a university hospital there as soon as he gained access to the Internet. He’s not sure why.  He said he knows he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and did graduate work at the University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York. His comfort zone is clearly Central European history and politics. He speaks easily and freely on the intricacies of the Habsburg monarchy and of Viennese art and architecture, his speech bouncing from English to German to French.

But hours after publishing the mystery man’s story online Thursday, The Times said that a reader identified him as Edward Lighthart, a man who taught English in China. It was still unclear how he ended up in Seattle. The Times said it was trying to reach the man to discuss the new development.
Christ, talk about a great build-up of mystery and suspense, only to have it be quickly destroyed by the tag-team combo of the final paragraph and Lighthart’s general appearance.  Some studio exec in Hollywood was already penciling this guy’s story into the Bourne 4 script until he hit the War of the Worlds-esque ending.
Lighthart: “I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?!”
Marie: “Ummm…can I have a moustache ride?”

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