I met her boss briefly a year ago. We had just flown back from my mother-in-law’s funeral and my daughter was on a two-day bereavement leave, but there was something she needed at her office and I drove down there with her–it was a time of needing to simply be together as a family as much as possible before ordinary life took over again. Such a strange thing that would feel like.
He came downstairs along with another co-worker and, as I quickly put my knitting aside and rose to my feet, they introduced themselves to me and warmly offered their condolences. I came away glad she worked for them.
Today found me driving her back to that office: the boss was transferring to another country (home, for him) and there was to be a surprise going-away party for him and she didn’t quite feel up to that drive and back.
I said I would sit in the car and quietly knit for however long, no hurries. I cracked a back window–it’s the warmest day we’ve had in awhile–and she looked askance at that and said we can’t have you exposed to the sun like that. (Re the lupus.) Come on in the lobby. He won’t see you and he wouldn’t recognize you if he did.
Oh, ask I, intrigued, does he have face blindness? (Too? Like me?) But how many women does he know with gray hair and a cane and, this is the big one, *knitting*? There? I didn’t want to give away the surprise.
She wasn’t about to diagnose the guy but she assured me it would be fine and said he would never recognize nor even see me and so I cranked the window back up and found myself inside on a nice leather seat near the door where you could see people coming down the stairs or in the front door or out from the hallway off to the left–same chair as last time.
But I was prepared. I didn’t just have my knitting. I had my Time magazine. So I could go, y’know, incognito like that. Only, as I pulled it out of my purse, apparently I had just recycled this week’s (the truck came today, it’s gone) and kept last week’s because I have a great visual memory like that. Checking the cover? Oh. Darn. I flipped through a few pages, thought oh well, put it back and pulled out my knitting. A skein of Jacques Cousteau from Madeline Tosh, the one I bought at the MadTosh shop in Ft. Worth when we went to visit with my mother-in-law for the last time, actually; it was my souvenir skein from that trip.
Wait. I think that’s? But no, he didn’t look my way at all. Huh. The idea that I would recognize someone a year later after only seeing their face once was very highly unlikely anyway, so, okay, not.
Michelle showed up awhile later having clearly had a great time. And laughing, because….
…Hi, Michelle, I saw your mom downstairs!
He’d gone out the front doors for just a moment, forgotten his badge, had had to go to the security guy a few feet away from me and ask permission to go back in to work–the guy had chuckled and waved him on in, he was hardly a stranger–and there I was, right in my spot, I think with even the same color yarn as last time, knitting away.
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