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Voicing Silence 7

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A quick tale 160

Stranger on the road

I spot you at a distance. Some hundred metres or so away. It's hard to miss you in your bright red t-shirt and your bobbing hair that keeps in rhythmn with your jog. I recognise you as a face from the past. But I cannot place you. Perhaps an aunt's neighbour. Or a cousin's classmate. Or did you go to school with me? Were you my driving instructor? I'm still furiously going through my mental snapshots while I notice that you're now 50 metres from me. Your name. Something beginning with an S. Or a K. It definitely has a J in it. Meanwhile, you are steadily narrowing the distance between us. Quick, I need to remember who you are. How should I greet you? A polite smile? Or should I add a 'how are you' and risk further conversation? You're now 10 metres from me. Something-Raj, yes, that's it. Your name is Something-Raj. Nice. You're just a handshake away. Our eyes meet. You quickly avert your gaze. And as you jogged past me, I thought I saw a frown crease your forehead . Why? Who did you mistake me for?

1 comment:

Speech is Golden said...

I am getting too used to this...

Around the same time as QT160

Samaya Balraj was out for a jog in the park. The new surroundings don't look new at all. It was a week since he moved to this suburb (a demotion according to him) but he can't clearly make out the differences. Places, these days don't have a character about them, he muses. Have to make friends with some regulars at the park, he resolves. Ha! A brown face jogging towards him. Maybe a Hi, a smile or a nod wouldn't be out of place, he hopes. He is almost near her, an arms length, when he notices the look on her face. She has recognised him from someplace, he realises but he can't, for the life of him put a name to the face. Eyes meet and still no name. He can't afford to say he doesn't remember, can he? What if she was someone that he must remember? He quickly averts his gaze and jogs on. His forehead creases in a frown in an attempt at recall.