“You look familiar.” He said, his brown eyes looking at me out of their corners. He stood leaning against the half-wall that divides the Cabaret I work in. I could tell he was trying to look casual and suave, but the wrinkled collar on his teal colored polo shirt, the rigidness of running his hand through his hair, and the way he fidgeted with a piece of paper gave him away as a total timid wreck. I smiled, trying to give him the “green light” to talk to me.
“Do I?” I laughed. I’m flirting with you, OK? I tried to place his face, which didn’t ring a bell to my memory at all, although he looked pretty confident about recognizing me.
“Um. Did you grow up in Manhattan?”
“Where did you go to High School?”
“Ah.” He said, opening and closing his eyes and nodding his head. “I thought so.”
Shit. He recognizes me and I have NO idea who this guy is. I tried to pry open the dusty tome of faces in my memory bank and place his, but my mind was turning up with nothing. “I was class of ’05” I said, trying to place him. “Were you in the Theatre department?”
“Yes. You were in ‘Hair’, right?“
“Yeah! I was! That was sophomore year! You were in that!?”
“No, I did the light and sound, though.”
I felt flat out stupid. He was looking at me square on now, the confidence at having placed me making him bolder. He was cute, sorta’, in a really sweet and dorky way. If he asks for my number, I’d give it to him, I thought. Hell, this guy can remember me from 10 years ago, I think he deserves a coffee with me.
I nodded and smiled again. This was the second guy to come up and remember me from decades ago. The first guy asking if I remembered him from Miss Cruz’s 2nd grade class. Back in 1993. Um. No. And c’mon: you remember me!?!? What the fuck?
“It’s nice to see you again, Natalie.” He said, shaking my hand. I agreed, still not remembering him at all. Was it the pounds of pot I smoked in college? Or was I kinda’ tuned out in High School? Who else am I going to meet in the future that will remember me and totally confound me when they reintroduce themselves?
I chatted with the High School guy for a few more minutes. He spent the last 4 years in Japan as a translator and came back to the states to pursue something different. I found him interesting, but far too timid to take very seriously. At the end of our conversation we nodded at each other. “Well, it was nice to see you again, Natalie.” He said, holding out his hand. I shook it. He then looked at our hands interlocked and quickly pulled his away. “I can’t believe I just shook your hand!” He exclaimed under his breathe as he walked toward the exit. I laughed.
“How do you say goodbye in Japan?” I asked. He smiled and took a small bow. I bowed back. “That’s better!” I said and waved as he walked out the door. I turned to my co-worker and shrugged.
“Who was that?” She asked.
“I have no clue.” I answered.
March 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm by Natalie Allen