The memory of a memory

Imagine spending two hours with a stranger, thinking that he reminds you vaguely of someone. Imagine talking, laughing, listening, joking, opining, conversing wondering all the while whether it feels familiar only because you’ve just done this way too many times with way too many people. Imagine feeling like you know so little about someone you call a friend and you feel like there’s nothing more you need to know about someone you’ve just met. Imagine having dinner with Nostalgia and realising suddenly over dessert whose face its wearing.

It’s him. The last memory of him has him in a green shirt. The spectacles are exactly the same as is the square-cut face. It isn’t exactly him though, since he was last seen years ago. So this is him, older, nicer, easier to be with. Him, nevertheless. But no…this is someone else, a perfect stranger.

Odd it took so long to figure that out though. Really, really odd that someone who feels like he’s embedded deep inside, one with your cells…is so hard to recognise in the face of another. I guess even memories like over-thumbed bits of paper crumble after awhile and all you have left is the vague recollection of something that used to occupy that place…sort of like a stray brown scrap of paper that’s floated off after the original has disintegrated. The memory of a memory.

Then you find yourself miles away from that once-so-familiar picture. Not only are you not part of the picture anymore but it doesn’t exist even without you. It doesn’t exist because it is without you. And here you are now, in a world new enough to be interesting, familiar enough to be comfortable..enough. And you’re having dinner with a stranger, not with your past.

Goodbye love, I never thought I’d say it this way.

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