Coca Cola mural off Moody Street

What busy person hasn’t longed for the mystic power of bilocation: the ability to be in two places simultaneously? Last night, after taking a break from online teaching tasks to have dinner with friends, I received a call from my credit card company that briefly suggested I’d spontaneously mastered this elusive trick.

Beetle on day lily

Was it true, an American Express customer service representative wanted to know, that I’d charged nearly $2,000 worth of merchandise from Bloomingdales in New York yesterday, or a couple hundred dollars from another women’s clothing store I’d never heard of? Uh, no. I spent the day yesterday checking commas and semicolons in my online College Comp classes’ discussion boards. On Thursday night, it seems, I somehow managed to have dinner with a friend at an Irish pub in Jamaica Plain while “I” also paid for dinner at an Italian restaurant I’ve never heard of somewhere else in Massachusetts. Apparently, the “other half” of my bilocating self has been having quite a social life!

As much as I’d love to be able to go shopping while responding to discussion board posts or eat pasta in one restaurant while quaffing a pint in another, I don’t have such magical powers. As of last night, my compromised American Express account has been closed and I’ll spend the weekend waiting for its replacement to arrive. Somewhere in New York or elsewhere, my alter ego will have to stop her spending spree, at least with my credit card. My brief flirtation with bilocation, it seems, was only a case of mistaken buy-location. Whoever spent part of this week duly stimulating the economy is welcome to continue…but not on my dime.