I was at a concert and as happens from time to time my eyes left the stage and circled around my fellow audience. There was a man I noticed whose heaviness extended to his beard, but there was something familiar about him. I tried to relay in my mind where I recognized it from. I was looking so hard that he noticed me looking and gave me an uncomfortable look back.
I told my Love Interest, “I think I know that guy.”
“Who is he?”
Now she was looking and he was looking at us looking at him and he walked to another part of the room.
On the drive home I had a eureka moment. “That was D— T—!”
“Who?” she asked.
“The guy at the concert was D— T—! He was in my class when I was in fourth grade and he was in fifth grade.”
“When’s the last time you saw him?”
“I don’t know. When I was ten or eleven.”
“And you could recognize him with that beard?”
“Yeah if you imagine him without it he kind of looks the same.”
“You guys were friends?”
“No actually he was a dick. They had this terrible idea of making half the class fourth graders and half the class fifth graders and he was one of the older kids who made me and the other fourth grader’s lives hell for the year.”
“So, it’s a good thing you didn’t talk to him.”
I should always agree with my Love Interest, she’s generally right, but that doesn’t stop me from nine times out of ten disagreeing with her. When I got home and I confirmed with an internet search that I correctly identified this face from my past, I felt pangs of regret. Sure, he was once a jerk, but didn’t we once share a time and a place that were long gone? Couldn’t we have had some laughs about the old days?
Months pass and I walk with a friend to a coffee shop where we kill some time and who do I see walking by but D— T—. Without a moment’s hesitation I shout out his name. “D— T—!”
He stops in his tracks. He seems to recognize me whether it’s from 1988 or the concert a couple months back I’m not sure so as I shake his hand and say my name and that we went to elementary school together.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” he says.
“I saw you at the concert and I thought it was you but I wasn’t sure.”
“Yeah, OK well, nice seeing you.” and with that he walked off like the past was meaningless.
My friend went back to what we were talking about before I jumped out of my chair. I couldn’t help, but to interrupt him. “That D— T—, he’s still a dick.”