I saw David Racardio today.
Not really anyone in particular, just an American (from Pennsylvania if I remember correctly, but maybe I don't) who was over doing a doctorate at the UEA while I was a student there. He and another PhD-type called Gail Low were drafted in to teach a term or two and I was one of his students. At least, I think I was. I was certainly one of Gail's. We shared a graduation day, although he was off doing exalted PhD things in a floppy hat while I was with the common masses in a mortarboard. I think maybe I saw him around in Norwich about a year later and he vaguely remembered me, and that was that.
I saw him today near Liverpool Street. It was definitely him – no doubt about it, he's distinctive-looking. He hadn't changed at all – doesn't even seem to have aged, so that he now looks younger than me when he used to look a lot older.
I wonder why he's still over here, why he never went home.
I didn't say anything, for a variety of reasons. One, he wouldn't remember me. Two, what would we have said apart from 'hello' and, in his case, 'who are you again'? And three, I realised I couldn't remember what, if anything, he'd taught me and was embarrassed.
But it made me think about passing time, and how things in your life that seem so forever – like college – disappear into the distant past without you noticing and suddenly they're 15 years ago and you can't remember all the details.
Odd to remember the man so vividly, yet have no clue what I learned from him.