Monday, September 29, 2014

You don't remember me

"You don't remember me, do you?"- said my regular bus driver this Sunday as he was helping up the ramp and strapping my wheelchair down. For a nanosecond I wanted to say, "What are you talking about, I see you every week" but then I realized he meant from before. The funny thing is, when the new route assignments started this August my first thought was that he looked very familiar. I tried to place the face, but the more I tried the further I was from solving the mystery. My last conclusions were that it probably was somewhere on campus, but then I figured he probably just looks like someone that I used to know (and I had no clue who that would have been either). Otherwise he'd say something instead of calling me "Sir" every time I boarded the bus. He explained that he used to work at the student union and as it turns out we used to speak from time to time, mostly every time are paths cross. The downside to knowing a lot of people and getting introduced to more by the month is that you end up having a lot exchanges with a lot of people that come and go and you end up not knowing them very well. Facebook and social media make it even more confusing. I could be at a bar or at a store and I see someone. It's very hard for me to tell if I know them in person or that I've just seen their picture. and the more you see a profile or a picture the more familiar a person in it becomes. I've had a few times when I went into a bar and wondered for a good fifteen minutes whether I know the group that sits in the corner and if I should say something, only to determine that I've seen them on the internet in a picture a friend of mine shared. Another true story: When I was spending time with my friend Josh in DC two years ago, he introduced me to a few of his friends. One of them looked incredibly familiar. "Have we ever met?"- I asked. "I do't think so"- he said. How could it be otherwise. He lived in Washington for quite a while and I just flew in from Gainesville for the week. Then I realized what the answer was. For over a month before I got there, Facebook was suggesting us as possible friends. I didn't meet him before, but every time I logged in I saw his face as the website insisted we connect. Having that picture popped up so many times it was in the back of my mind when we actually met and that's why he looked so familiar. I try to remember who everyone is and I pride myself on my ability to maintain a large network of friends, striking a conversation with anybody and often remembering a fun fact about them from many years ago. But when you end up with over eleven hundred friends on Facebook, it's hard to keep track of people given how they change names, get marry  and sometimes you didn't know them that well to begin with. But I was very glad that we got to the bottom of who my driver was. It was bugging me that I couldn't remember. And it makes me happy that it was someone I've actually interacted with in the physical realm. Shame that I couldn't remember. As I was rolling off the ramp to do my weekly shopping I said: "Thank you for solving that mystery".

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