I’ve just seen a face…

But was it a face I used to love? I don’t know, and I can’t decide whether I care. It has been at least five years since I last saw “Hazel” for cer­tain sure. I have pic­tures, of course, but the con­fi­dent mem­o­ry of her face has com­plete­ly fad­ed away from me, so that now when a car rolls past and I make eye con­tact with a woman who might be her, that is the best I can do: it might be her, or it might not. I have no longer any way of telling the dif­fer­ence, no inter­nal check to ver­i­fy her iden­ti­ty against.

It is sort of the oppo­site of the sit­u­a­tion the per­sona in Green Day’s song “What­ser­name” finds him­self in. Where he recog­nis­es the face of some­one he was once involved with, but can­not quite recall her name or oth­er details of their (once shared) past, I lug about a mind crammed full of (some­times painful­ly) detailed mem­o­ries, but with no face to con­nect them to anymore.

My feel­ings regard­ing this are under­stand­ably ambiva­lent. I do not regret any part of the past. I am com­fort­able now with the choic­es made, by me and by her —includ­ing her (at the time unwel­come) deci­sion to dump me in favour of the fel­low who is now her hus­band. But it is still nice to main­tain my con­nec­tion with my past, my his­to­ry. And I feel like I real­ly should be able to spot my first love, that I should be able to to pick the first girl I ever kissed out of police line­up if I had to.

Inter­est­ing stuff, but not par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant. That’s why I think about it, I suppose…

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