Do I know you?

Posted on: 27/01/2010

By Frankie Koehler

“A stranger walking down the street, they’re looking at you. Not staring, just looking. A stranger that you know. Know their hobbies. Know their style. But their name… a mystery.” That’s what my friend told me the other day when I asked her about people we know of, but do not know. These are the people we pass every day. On the bus, at the train station or around college. These are people we’ll never talk to, yet we know so much about. Things such as what bus they catch or where they work. But if we know so much about them it gets you wondering… How much do these “strangers” know about us?

That frail old lady you pass when walking your dog. You don’t know who she is but you know that she always buys a carton of milk and loaf of bread on a Sunday afternoon. That smart looking businessman who drops into the cafe, where you work every Saturday morning, for his daily coffee. You don’t know what he’s like when out of his ironed suit and crimson tie; but you know that he has a strong black coffee every morning. No sugar. No cream. He takes his coffee and scurries away, talking on the phone to a colleague named Joe.

It’s not always the case that you don’t know their name; sometimes you do. For instance, when I was in year 11, the bus which I got to school also carried college students. It was a school bus, but the service was run by a major bus company, and people not belonging to my school were allowed to use it. On my bus I knew two girls. As the year went on I found out that they knew the names of most of the college guys who regularly got on the bus. They’d never sat next to these guys (as they always sat together) but they had found ways to discover their names. These guys who were just passers-by in their daily task of getting to school. That’s the thing though. These people who we see every day and seem to know odd facts about; they’re all just passers-by in our life. They’re just people we see from day to day, but for some reason an interest has formed and we find ourselves wanting to know about their lives, and that is why we remember the facts we do. Because these “strangers” intrigue us.

But it was only a month or two ago I realised, that if we are so fascinated by these people, are there “strangers” who are fascinated by us? People who haven’t talked to us, yet know our names. People who we catch the bus with everyday, who know where we go and who with. Know our interests? Know what pets we have? But we will never know which person is that person, as we’ll never talk to find out. But sometimes, just sometimes, you and that person who notices you will be drawn together. Then when you start talking you realise you’ve both been thinking the same thing about each other: “Do they notice me?”

Imagine that one evening you were walking home and your phone had stopped working. You were curious about what the time was but had no way to tell. So you looked around the dark streets for someone to ask, when you saw that person who you have seen so many times before and have longed to know. That person you see walk down the same street as you. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk to them even if it’s simply asking them the time.

That’s the situation a friend of mine found herself in a few months ago. It was a guy whom she had noticed a few months back. She hadn’t known his name or how old he was but she knew what street he lived in, and things of that nature. She’d see him around town and stuff and then when she started college she saw him around there too. She worked out from who he went around with at college that he was her year as well.

Then one evening on her way home from college she went and asked him the time. The next thing, they were chatting and from what he’d said and how he had said it, it sounded like he knew who she was too. They spoke about college and old schools and stuff. Just random chit-chat really. Then when they had to part, they said goodbye and went their separate ways. When I later asked her his name, her answer was: “I don’t actually know. Names never came up.”

Then after that tale I realised that maybe the people that we notice are in fact the ones who notice us. Maybe this fascination is mutual. Or maybe they’re just faces. That’s all they are and will ever be. Just people we see every day. Perhaps there is no reason for noticing most of them; but for the few which we actually talk to, maybe the meeting was just waiting to happen. So next time you get on the bus and you see that person you do every week, I dare you to go up and talk to them. For all you know they could have noticed you too…


1 Response to "Do I know you?"

I like this article; it’s just like how it is on the train. 🙂 Who are those people when they’re not sitting on the 4:44??! Haha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Latest Comments

%d bloggers like this: