November in Pennsylvania. I could begin this story by conjuring sensations of the penetrating effects of cold. How it cracks the skins seeps straight down into the marrow of your bones. Bundling Maybe describe the howling winds that banish away warmth on impact. Maybe. I could fill your mind with images frost scarred students strutting around in thick wool beanies, heavy black Timberland boots, and puffy insulated Patagonia coats. I could do all these things, but I won’t.
Somehow, I found myself walking outside in the cold. A lapse in memory made me forget why I left my apartment in the first place. I strolled along for a few blocks until the cold forced me to retreat back towards home. Logic says I went outside to go somewhere, but where? Think. Think. Think. My fingers shivered in my jean pockets. Only another block before I was back inside.
“HEY! BARRY!” a loud voiced echoed from a distance. My neck immediately swung around to answer. Scanning up, down, and all the round. Still don’t see anybody. My frenzied head movments earned me a dirty look from a scrawny old lady leaning on a parking meter. Someone called out my name! I’m not crazy!
Maybe I was just hearing things?
Later that evening I lounged on my sofa ruminating. I wonder who shouted out my name? Maybe they actually said “Harry” not Barry? It’s a simple mistake to make. No I feel like it was directed toward me. No one else was outside on the sidewalk beside that strange old lady. Maybe her name is Barry too? What if that old woman shouted out my name just so she could pretend not hear anything and give me a dirty look!? That scoundrel! Is this step one is kind of convoluted conspiracy? How far up does this thing go?!
Investigating this incident produced more questions than answers. Evidence has dried up and I’m fresh out of leads. The trail has gone cold. I will go my entire life not knowing who shouted out my name.
Let this be a warning: it could happen to you – Barry