At University. [This is me now.]
Only a couple of years ago.
I am outside the Refectory.
A woman approaches. And says Hello in a cheery manner. I instinctively reply in a similar fashion.
She is one of my tutors. An American Professor quite famous in her field. I rather like her, despite the fact that she has made it clear that she considers F.R. Leavis to be something of a radical and that his new-fangled ideas will never catch on.
The very fact that she is unaware that it is actually 2005 is one of her endearing qualities.
As she gets closer, I am about to launch into conversation.
I am not wearing my spectacles today.
It is not her at all. In fact it is a person of Oriental origin. Not to be easily mistaken for a slightly dusty American WASP.
There results some slightly awkward conversation.
She has mistaken me for somebody else, I think. And is too embarrassed to say so. And is now pretending that everything is normal and is chatting away. Maybe she is also a bit Mental.
I remember that I had cheerily greeted her as if I knew her quite well. Even so.
Strange woman says:
‘Oh. Have you got your copy of Dreamweaver yet?’
Right. That’s it. She’s bonkers. I don’t even know what that means. Is it code for something? You are mad. Is it one of those graphic novels? Why even bring it up like it was normal? Go away. Christ. For a second I thought it was me who was mad.
I make a short goodbye to the Bonkers Woman and return to the warmth and sanity of the Refectory.
Lost in my own thoughts – most of them regarding my recent peculiar social exchange – I pass by someone else who seems to know me without my really noticing.
He utters some words of greeting. Being preoccupied, the ‘talking’ part of my brain does not function properly and I utter this sound:
Just like The Fonz.
The guy looks a bit perplexed and keeps walking.
I sit down with my coffee and wonder why everyone is mad.