yesterday on the bus, a large and friendly man approached me, asking, ¨do you remember me?¨
after i replied, ¨no,¨ he began to tell me all sorts of facts about me. he knew where i had gone to graduate school, he knew my previous research topics, he knew my husband´s name, and yes, he had seen that long ago sztv documentary about the two of us.
¨don´t you remember me?¨ he asked again.
i tried, ¨i´m old and tired,¨ but he was not assuaged. so i assured him that i believed we had met.
¨you lived in chaoxi lou,¨ he said confidently.
over fifteen years ago, i lived in chaoxi lou for less than two months. and we met then?!
¨yes,¨ he continued happily. ¨i was a student and you were fatter and older looking. in fact, you´ve changed so much i wasn´t sure it was you. i wanted to hear your opinions about taiwan because you had lived there.¨
humbling, this unexpected encounter because suddenly i´m thinking about all those i have forgotten. how much of my life is being carried around in the hearts of others?
uncanny, this encounter because i´m also wondering how many of the defining moments of my life only live in me?
all those fragments of encounter that i have enshrined in my heart were enshrined as dialogues and exchanges, but maybe they´re only bits and pieces of my selective unconscious at work. maybe nothing occurred as i recall. indeed, i have no way of confirming the reliability of my memories and by extension, the person i claim to have been and therefore have become, today.
additional upside to this encounter? i won´t forget him again…