Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dismayed in the shade

Out on errands on a sunny day in Victoria, I find myself footsore and weary, so decide to catch the bus home.

I settle on a bench in the shadow of the arts supply store, juggling my purchases, bus schedule, and bus pass.

A lady strides up, clad in light-blue stone-washed capris. Her blond hair is clipped back into a small ponytail, and she's wearing sunglasses.

"Well, howdy-doody!" she greets me with cheerful briskness.

It's Victoria, so I smile up from my seat at her and respond, "How do you do?"

She pauses a micro-second.

"Oh, I see, you're just going to sit there."

Off she goes, leaving me slightly baffled.

Do I know her? I don't recognize her voice, and her sunglasses do nothing for my mild prosopagnosia. Frankly, she's a wee bit generic and could have been anybody I've met in Victoria during the past three decades -- or a complete stranger mistaking me for someone else. (This happens pretty often, so I guess I might be a bit generic too.)

When I describe the incident later to the Resident Fan Boy and Demeter, they recall all the times when an unfamiliar person has struck up a conversation with them, imagining them to be an acquaintance.

We fantasize comforting scenarios where my brisk mystery lady confronts a bewildered friend:

"Why were you so stand-offish the other day?"
"Excuse me?"
"I said hello, and you just sat there like a lump, smiling at me as if you didn't know me."
"Where was this?"
"At the bus stop at Island Blue Print."
"Are you crazy? I don't take the bus…"

Oh gawd, I hope that's what happened and she wasn't an old pal...

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