That Guy You Vaguely Remember Will Keep Nodding to You

 By Ilya Yashin

Remember that guy you had a class with some time ago, and made small talk with? “I remember you just as vaguely,” he said, “and I, too, will keep nodding silently to you when we see each other.”

Asking not to reveal his name so that you two remain anonymous to each other, he said, “At some point you might want to start treating me like a total stranger but I won’t let that happen. It’s wrong to forget people you’ve had brief, meaningless conversations with.”
He will seek you out. You’ll start “accidentally” seeing him more and more often, and will have to meet his seeking eyes at some point.
“We’ll be on the same elevator, with just enough people so that you know I’m there but don’t feel obligated to talk to me.”
You’ll be in the same line at the store.
“On a half-empty bus with me.”
In the same computer lab.
“I’ll start dining at your favorite joint, studying at your favorite place.”
A few people away from you at graduation, there he’ll be, waiting for your awkward nod, your faint smile.

The guy who knows and cares about you as little as you do about him said it just might so happen that he’ll start working at a construction site across from your house. “Who knows, maybe we’ll have to nod to each other when I clean the windows of your office building and when you happen to see me on the street every day at seemingly random times,” he said. The anticipation of meeting his eyes at an unexpected place and nodding to him with an odd smile will consume your days.

“You will nod to my image in the lonely darkness of your room,” he said.

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