Today at Union Market while waiting to ask for a rotisserie chicken with so many other shoppers wanting rotisserie chicken that one of the men behind the counter commented on how many people wanted rotisserie chicken, I noticed that the man on my left getting chicken breast and mashed potatoes to go was someone I went to college with. I did not say hi.
I have never been to Union Market before in my life because I don't normally do things like spend $11.50 on single grocery items, but I was in a pinch, needing chicken for a kale salad and not wanting to unthaw frozen chicken and cook it myself, plus it was already almost 8pm and I was hungry and cranky and sweaty because the F train never came and I gave up and fast-walked the 15 minutes to Union Market, then another 10 home.
Though one might think it was common from reading books or watching TV, I have also never ran into anyone I went to school with in my 14 years here. That makes sense when you keep in mind that I only had like 25 people in my graduating class. That I would see them in my zip code, especially since I'm practically a shut-in and only go to the office once or twice a week, would be rare. Should I have said hi?
I did not because a friend who lives here that I went to college with ran into this guy, or maybe she noticed his name on a placard in a building she was working in and knocked on the door, she is more extroverted like that and was probably better friends with him than I ever was. But she mentioned me and he had no idea who I was, but then, he had (has?) a drug problem and I've noticed over the years that my memory for people and insignificant detail is much stronger than many so this wasn't surprising. He sent me a weird Facebook message (or maybe it was an email–I haven't been on Facebook that long) but did not send a friend request. I wouldn't know what to say to someone who is in your neighborhood buying a cooked chicken breast while you're buying a rotisserie chicken and you haven't seen in nearly two decades and they didn't remember you eight years ago.
In one of the few critical thinking/writing classes we had to take, the professor loved a detail in a story this guy wrote about his family about how they served prepared food instead of cooking and that was such a bourgeois, upper middle class signifier. I was a food stamper who brought lunches from home and when this guy asked for a taste of my fake crab, cream cheese and avocado sandwich he chomped a quarter of it in one bite.