Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

Yesterday was a truly surreal day. It started off normal, but by noontime I was seeing ghosts – people I haven’t seen in 8 years or more were appearing from out of nowhere.

At lunch, I ran into an old neighbor, who I had heard the day after Christmas lost his foot in a motorcycle accident. At night, at The Pogues show, I saw a guy I use to hang out with when I worked peddling smokes, my friend, Zakiya, who lives in San Diego, and a guy I went to college with (who was working the bar and contributed to my writing this blog so late today).

It’s funny, really, because I had completely different reactions to seeing these four people.

I avoided eye contact and hung my head when we were sitting next to my old neighbor in the food court. I know he recognized me, but I didn’t really want to talk to him. Why? I don’t know. He was kind of a religious fanatic, and I was on my lunch break with no extra time to hear about how god had a plan for his losing his foot.

I had seen the guy I use to hang with when I was a Camel Girl while we were both outside smoking several times early in the evening, but I didn’t approach him. Finally, a third time out front smoking, I decided to just go over and say “hi.” We chatted for a while, he asked me to officiate his wedding, and we went back inside.

On my way back outside for my 20th cigarette that night, my friend, Zakiya, from San Diego, jumped out in front of me and screamed “HEY!” before I even knew she was on the east coast. “HOLY FUCK!” I screamed, “HOLY FUCK, HOLY FUCK, HOLY FUCK!” I jumped on her, dry humped her, and really upset the guy standing behind her. It was really great to see her back in Baltimore.

Coming back inside from my 20th cigarette that night, Betty Beatdown and I go up to order beers, and our bartender and I did the “How do I know you?” dance, eventually realizing we went to college together. We reminisced about the girl who use to pull her hair out from the root while sitting in front of the class and the older divorced woman who had just went back to college and use to drink TAB… in the 90s. It was a fun chance meeting that resulted in an unexpected but greatly appreciated night of free drinks and shots.

My responses to each of these people was at times proportionate to our relationships back when, but some weren’t. I used to talk to the guy with no foot daily, yet didn’t say a word to him, let alone acknowledge him, while we spent a good time at the bar talking to the bartender who I only ever talked to in class.

It’s odd, today, thinking back to where each of these people were 8 years ago and hearing just last night where each of them are now. Some people’s lives turned out way better than I expected them to, while others degraded, and although I recognized their faces, I felt like I no longer knew who they were – they had actually seemed to regress. I wonder what they thought of me?

1 comment:

Betty Beatdown said...

I know! Everything was weird! I ran into a guy who used to be one of my patients!