Sunday, July 21, 2013

Girl known, yet unknown

Ever have a memory that is incomplete, that drives you crazy? It happens a lot to us as we age, and it’s happening to me right now. I saw this photo in Friday's morning paper. The photographer took it at a local outdoor concert, and the first thing I saw when I looked at the picture was the girl. I have seen her before.

But where? The picture is in black and white, but in my brain, that incomplete memory that I am trying to pluck out, shows her in living color. It's the face. I don’t remember how tall she is, how she stands or walks, but I know the face.

Grocery store clerk? Restaurant server? School district employee I may have encountered during my last few years before retirement?

I have been two days looking at this picture, trying to conjure up an image, any image that might place her in context of where I might have seen her.

Arrrrgh. Frustration.

The photographer has chosen her face to be the focus of the picture, and rightly so. I wouldn’t be struggling with a memory if I hadn’t been struck at some time by the sight of that face.

UPDATE, August 25, 2013:

Today after leaving Walgreen's with a prescription Sally and I were speaking fondly of our former neighborhood pharmacy, now closed for three or four years, and the really great pharmacists and pharmacy techs that store employed, including pharmacy tech Alma.

I felt like I was struck by lightning. Alma! I exclaimed. Alma is the girl in the picture!

What picture is that? Sally asked. So I explained about the blog post.

Alma and her husband were from Eastern Europe, who had relocated to the US. When we got home I showed the picture to Sally and she said yes, that is Alma.

It is a trick of memory that she looked so familiar, yet I couldn't place her. I attribute it to various factors, including age. But whew. Mystery solved.

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