I used to go by a different name. It’s been so long that I’d nearly forgotten. The other day, I was out somewhere when someone said the name. I turned because it seemed like someone was speaking to me, and they were.
I didn’t recognize it at first. It took my mind a few seconds to process, during which the person said, “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else. Someone I grew up with.”
“I used to go by that name,” I said.
She identified herself. I used to be friends with her father. She’d been a child then. Now she had five children with her.
We didn’t know what to say to each other except, “It’s great to see you.” Maybe she’d only said my name out of the shock of seeing me, after all these years.
Life is strange. Our independent lives hurtle onward as people pass in and out. Sometimes I see a shadow that I used to know, but I don’t say anything because part of me doesn’t want to be wrong and part of me doesn’t want to be right.
“Thanks for coming, mind your step on the way home
The roads are busy, tonight just pick the ones you know
Thanks for calling, mind your step on the way home
Find a God and thank him” — Therapy?, “The Boy’s Asleep”

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