Monday, 3 December 2007

The staring match

Today I was walking back into the office after a break, (yes even the best of corporate penguins need to take mini breaks outside, personnally I like to go and stare at Hong Kong Harbour, standing outside with the wind whisking my face and messing up my hair, after a few deep breaths I like to I throw my arms up and yell : "I AM ALIIIIIIVE, I AM FREEEEE, LET ME OUT OF HERE". Erm anyway let's go back to the subject).

As I was walking I caught the eye of this guy whom I knew I had seen before. And I think he also recognised me from before because he stared into my left eye as I stared into his right one. And it lasted like that for minutes, hours, centuries (ok maybe only seconds). Usually I like to avoid eye contact for too long (and always lose staring matches with little three year olds who like to stare at adults shamelessly, don't they know they owe the respect to be embarassed intead of us feeling like 3 year olds because we can't stare back, the little insolents :). But this time, as we were walking towards each other, my brain was trying to process the information of where I had seen this guy, if I knew him and should I say hello or just casually ignore him? If I ignored him while we knew each other it would be plain rude, but saying hello to a stranger would be just too tart-like. Or maybe we knew eachother from years ago in a different place and it would be appropriate to act totally amazed to cross paths again. So my brain let the eyes stare and stare (probably the same on his side as he was also doing something like x-ray vision on me, but with a mildly afraid air, maybe because he had the feeling I was about to talk to him) and as I was internally panicking, I managed to do a semi-smile and blurt out something like:
- "Hggghhiiikki" in a semi-whisper.
At that moment he totally broke off eye contact and looked down, his brain probably deciding it was way too embarassing to acknowledge knowing anyone who utters such odd sounds and has a mouth shaped like a semi-smile whispering.
The worst is as we passed each other by, I suddenly remembered his name, and where I knew him from. Turns out I had met him at a friend's party this summer where we had chatted for a couple of minutes. The appropriate thing would have been to smile, make eye contact, and say "Hi XYZ, remember me from J's party, nice to see you again". By that point it was too late to turn around and go HEY XYZ! Hi! as he had walked rapidly away.

Ah aiaiah, maybe one day when I grow up I will be able to make normal contact with real human beings. One day..


chris said...

That's a nice post, very funny!
I am so bad to remember people's name, that makes it even worse!

Evie said...

Thanks :-). Try being bad at remembering names AND faces...