On running into a friend from Paris in a store in Toronto last year

It was horrible looking through ten years to see your face.   But what was worse was seeing you scan through the ten years in mine.

We both excused ourselves.  We wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.  I turned to my husband and tried to, wanted to explain what had just happened, but I spoke with a voice that he didn’t recognise.  Of course he didn’t, this old time sound was not familiar to him, he and I hadn’t known each other then.  So I was left alone with a flicker of who I’d been before, lodged deep, occasionally remembered, a ghost in my own body.  At the time I wondered if that searching look in your eyes was because you couldn’t remember me.  Looking back though, considering the time we spent together, it would have been a feat for you to have forgotten.  You would  have had to work at it, so that in that moment we saw each other again, you would not have remembered to feel triumphant.

Anyway I don’t know what the point would have been.  We both said it, in the store, I think, between all that unpleasant half dazed staring, that Paris ten years ago had been one of the best times of our lives.  Maybe that’s why I was offended by running into you, by seeing what time looks like when it’s left unattended.


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