Recognition

blankstare“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

There’s just something about faces. You know, the juxtaposition of eyes, nose, and a mouth, ears on the side, and whatever type of chin someone possesses. I have seen a plethora of faces in my lifetime. They come and go quickly through my periphery, but for the most part they aren’t forgotten. In fact, I remember most faces I’ve ever seen, which is really no exaggeration. Sometimes I’m proud of that fact, and other times it makes me dreadfully sad.

I saw a man today who I haven’t seen in over five years, but I recognized him right off. However, I didn’t approach him to catch up on old times. For one, we were merely acquaintances way back then, and for another, he obviously didn’t remember me. I used to take that personally, wondering how someone could just forget me like that, but admittedly I wasn’t a huge part of his life, and/or memorable enough to make the list of people he would automatically recall. I could have taken the time to refresh his memory, but what would have been the point? “Oh yeah, I know you now.”

What makes me sad, though, are the times when I see someone who was significant to me in some former life but who has no idea who I am when we pass. Sometimes I even say hi, and they look at me like I’m a total stranger, even though for a solid block of time we were as close as two peas in a banana peel. For some people is it just easier to move on and forget, and is that a positive or a negative thing? Continue reading “Recognition”