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20130907-232605.jpg Something very weird happened to me yesterday: I met a former class fellow from high school in “my” grocery store. What is so weird about this? Well, considering the fact that my former school is located 2000 km from here in a totally different country… yep, totally weird.
I knew this guy lives somewhere in “my” city. I remember thinking,
“Man, what is the probability of a random person you knew from your native country moving to the same country and the same city you moved to?”
Now I have a bigger mathematical puzzle for you: What is the probability of that person moving next to you in the same city of the same country far-far away? Is it less than a chance to win in a lottery? If yes, I should totally consider playing.
I saw this guy passing me on my way to the store, but he seemed to go in the different direction. So I thought that was the second and final time we are ever going to meet (as they say you meet every person twice in your life). Imagine my surprise when I saw this guy entering “my” grocery store! It gets better: he had one of these bags on the wheels some really “stylish” or really old people go grocery shopping with. There is no way he was just “passing by in the neighborhood” with this thing! Also, he spent like 15 minutes examining the tomatoes in the vegetable section, as if he has all time of the world. I’m afraid this guy is living here now.
I was lucky it was a sunny day and I had my sunglasses on. Otherwise we both would have been up for an uncomfortable small talk and some fake smiles, as we were not exactly best friends back then. I used to think he was a weirdo. He used to think I was an arrogant…, well, let’s leave it at just arrogant. So I left my sunglasses on, did my shopping as fast as I could, and sneaked behind the shelves towards the cashier desk. I got out unnoticed, this time, but I’m afraid I have to get out my baseball cap and even bigger sunglasses out of the closet for the next time my fridge gets empty.
Now, why does it have to be like this? Maybe I’m generally not a very social person who hates small talk. Or maybe I’m not very fond of that particular guy. But is it enough to make one put on camouflage every time one goes for groceries? Probably not, at least for the normal and not paranoid person (and I like to think I’m still in the “normal” group). It is not about small talk or the guy at all, actually. It’s about the ghosts of the past. This guy still thinks I’m that person from almost 15 years ago whom he didn’t like at all. Yes, he totally thinks that. Well, I think he is still a weirdo (and that bag on wheels is not helping his present case either). I can’t blame him, I also didn’t like that 15 years ago me. I know I’ve changed, that person is gone, together with that miserable time I prefer to call “my before-life”. But now I get to be reminded of it, and, unfortunately, no camouflage can “camouflage” you from the memories.
I hope that was a one-time thing, that there is another explanation why that guy was in that grocery store the other day. Maybe he is a PhD biologist now and needed these tomatoes being carefully selected for his scientific experiments. He might have needed lots of tomatoes (that would explain the bag and the wheels). However, my gut is telling me to “prepare for the worst”. And it’s not like I’m chickening out or anything, or think that in some cases it’s better to run and hide from something that to deal with it. It’s just that I don’t look good in camouflage.
Additional entry from 11/09/13: Yes, it’s official now. This guy lives literary next to me. I met him and his wife on my way back from work like 200m away from my door taking an evening walk. This was a perfect moment for the dramatic “looking-up-in-the-sky-shouting-‘why, universe, why?’” Although it was a narrow path and he had all time of the world to look in my face, I passed by pretty quickly so that he cannot be sure it was that girl from 15 years ago from a country far-far away. But next time we meet, and oh yes we will, there will be no escape for anyone. I’ll keep you posted.