This other day I got on the bus back home. I was quite late that day and so the crowd in this bus wasn’t the usual crowd I met. The faces were all new to me. I flashed my pass in that machine that beeped, allowing me to enter the bus. I walked past unfamiliar faces…wait! This man….he was talking intently to this Asian girl who sat behind him. He looked familiar. Extremely familiar. I wondered who he was and why he looked so familiar to me. It bothered me that I couldn’t exactly remember who he was…I walked past him and found a seat. But I didn’t stop trying to remember who he was.
Was he some tour guide? I imagined him in some guide clothes explaining something about the city….nah, he didn’t fit! Was he a famous scientist? I pictured him on the stage with a presentation behind him as if he was giving a public talk about his work. It could be…but something told me it wasn’t that either. Who was he?
I pictured him in the various different places I frequent in the city. Libraries, laboratories, lecture halls….he fit nowhere. Then why was he in my memory space? Did he merely resemble someone I knew? No! I knew this man from somewhere. I was beginning to get restless. I wondered if he recognized me. He didn’t. When I walked past him, he showed no signs of recognition. Our eyes met but he didn’t seem to know me at all. Who was he?
And then…I pictured him in that one place I had forgotten that I visit quite frequently. Sainsbury’s. He fit! He worked in Sainsbury’s. He was the man from the billing counter that spoke at length with this French woman who was in queue right in front of me the other day! That was him!!!
Finally I got down from the bust at my stop, relaxed! He didn’t know me at all. But I knew him…