Have you ever walked into a store and then someone comes up to you and asks how things are with some person you don’t know?
For some unfathomable reason, this happens to me quite frequently.
It must be that I possess not one, but multiple doppelgangers, and sundry folk confuse me with the myriad of others.
Why, just the other day I was returning bottles and cans, and this elderly gentleman approached me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and I just knew he would settle on me.
“Say, how’s Brian doing in South America?” One, I have not a clue who this old guy is and two, I have no recollection whatsoever of a person named Brian who happens to reside somewhere in the southern hemisphere. And how did I respond?
“He’s doing great, the last time I talked to him.”
“Oh, that’s good to hear. Tell him I said hi.”
You know, encounters of that ilk. It happens to me all the time.
Growing up, I used to live in these environs and now I have come full circle, having moved back several years ago. I encounter people in stores, or on the street, and they ask, “Paul, how’s it going?“, and I have not a clue who they are. None.
Patiently do I stand there, making small talk, valiantly attempting to recall the person standing before me. But only a blank is drawn.
After a brief exchange (although sometimes it can be rather lengthy; during these times you rack your brains even more trying to decipher just who the hell this person is!) we part ways, and I’m left scratching my noggin.
Very odd. And sometimes it’s not simply relegated to a cordial hello. Oh, no. Sometimes people accost me and launch into their personal history, chatting away about their failed relationships, their turmoils with family members, or what ailments currently plague them. It doesn’t matter. I am, seemingly, the go-to guy, the one who bends an ear and listens and nods and offers words of condolence or encouragement…all to people I just don’t know.
I think that perhaps I missed my calling. Perhaps I should hang out a shingle that reads ‘Pyschotherapist’.
Yes, I shall do that tomorrow, before I wend my way to Wal-Mart.
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.