“Hey! How are you?” I hear a genuinely surprised voice. A familiar face comes into focus, and my bleary mind finally places the face as one of the commuters I used to see everyday on the public transit. I remember talking to her once or twice, but the details of the conversations are blotched out. Gone. Erased. Clean slate.
My expression has turned from a dazed one into a smile that shows vague recognition, as I reply – “Good…how are you? I haven’t see you in a long time!”
I can feel my nerves rattle like a toy held over the head of a giggling 4 month old, as she remembers how far my workspot is from the transit terminal, the name of my office, and even my daughter. She fondly asks after my daughter, and I am still trying to get her name! How I wish my brain had a search functionality that could access archived areas of the “past” database.
I remember she has children, and ask vague questions about their well-being. I hope she doesn’t sense my desperation, but I am sure she does. I hastily take leave, still wracking my brain. It starts with an ‘N’ – I start down the path of listing all the names I know starting with ‘N’ and cross them out with plausible explanations. I know this will nag me till the next time a similar incident happens, and I start out with another alphabet.
I read somewhere that names can be remembered if you wish to remember it. But here is the thing: I seldom ask anyone’s name with the intention of not remembering it. I want to remember it, I can’t.
Any pointers to help me would be greatly appreciated.