Familiar

At a crowded coffee shop I wait for two guys to pack up their laptops. No matter where I stand or look, I feel like a vulture waiting to swoop in on prey, but I can’t leave or I’ll lose the table.

The longer I stare, the more one of the guys–in a beige sweatshirt and round glasses-looks terribly familiar, but I can’t place him.

“Do I know you?” I finally ask.  It’s hard for any thought to pass through my head without vocalizing it.

I worry It sounds like a bad pick-up line. Or worse, that he’s someone I once corresponded with on a dating app, and found his responses too dull to continue.

He looks like the type that would have an OKCupid profile and spend a lot of time perfecting the copy. Interests: Hanging at a coffee shop. Figuring out this thing called life. Message me if: You’re down for an adventure.

He puts on his hat and laughs.

“I get that all the time,” he says, pleased with the attention, but still, a bit defeated. “I have a very familiar face.”

I squint up at his him–his pale white skin, sharp cheekbones, small eyes–it’s not unattractive, but neither is it particularly remarkable. He’d make a good model for a stock photo. White guy with coffee in winter clothing.

“That’s not true!” I say, feeling bad, now, and wondering what it’s like to always be mistaken for someone else . “You’re a special snowflake.”

“Thank you,” he says, genuinely pleased.

 

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