“Jesse! Where’ve you been?” Hank walked to my side of the bar for a hug. “I see you stopped writing about narcissism. Does that mean you survived?” Hank grinned and walked to his side of the bar.
“Funny, Hank. I’ve missed you, too.” I draped my jacket over my knees as I sat on a bar stool.
“But, seriously. Did you run out of things to say on that subject?” Hank grabbed for a glass and, before pouring the usual, looked to see if I might ask for something else. I smiled and he let the amber flow into the glass.
“Ha! Like that’s even possible. You, of all people, would know the answer to that question.”
Hank walked to the end of the bar to take an order. Just then a woman walked over to stand next to me. As she waited to place her order, she looked up at the television screen. She winced, turned to me and said, “Can you believe …. Hey, you look familiar. Do I know you?”
I smiled. “I’m not sure. Maybe. I have that kind of face – that ‘everyone’ and ‘no one’ face. People tend to think they recognize me from somewhere.”
Hank returned. “Yeah, she gets that a lot.”
He greeted the new customer and said, “This is Jesse. She has this thing about her. Lots of folks think they know her from somewhere.”
She reached out to shake hands. “Do you work at the bank?”
“Nope.” I smiled and took a drink.
She ordered a chardonnay. “I know… it’s that coffee shop on the corner of 9th and Main.”
I looked and Hank and laughed. “Nope.”
She took her wine and turned to walk over to a table where girlfriends waited. She looked at me and said, “I’ll think of it. Nice to meet you.”
“You, too.” I looked at Hank and shrugged my shoulders.
“So, Hank, why do I get that a lot? What is it about my face that people I’ve never met seem to think they know me from somewhere?”
It’s not your face, Jesse, it’s the way folks feel when they are with you. You see them. That feeling is familiar. They may not have felt that way in a real long time, but they know it. They crave that feeling. They remember how it feels to be seen, and they think that must mean they know you from somewhere. It’s not your face, Jesse, it’s who you are.”