Before the ballet Wednesday evening, Jeff and I had dinner in the Kennedy Center cafe. While eating, I noticed a male couple sitting a few tables away, one of whom seemed very familiar to me. However, I couldn’t remember how I knew him, though I was pretty sure it was from years earlier… had he been a squaredancer, perhaps, or did I know him from the gay science-fiction club, or, even worse in the lack of recollection, might we ever have been intimate? Was it even here, in DC, or could it have been earlier, back when I lived in Boston? I couldn’t remember his name, but I could recall a quality of voice, patterns of speech, so in whatever context we knew each other, we had spoken together, certainly.
Throughout dinner, I kept looking over, unable to help myself, trying to remember. Once or twice our eyes met, but there seemed to be no overt spark of recognition in his face. However, when he and his dinner companion finished, they walked over and he spoke first, saying that he was pretty sure we knew each other, but he couldn’t recall where or how. I confessed I believed the same, but could not remember the connection either. He said, “car club”? I said, “No. Squaredancing?” He shook his head. “Do you know X?” “I know the name, but don’t know him well; do you know Y and Z?” “No.” We both shrugged. He gave me his name, I shared mine. Ah, yes, that sounded familiar… maybe it clicked. Yes? No, the connection yet remained elusive. Twenty-four hours later, it still does.