El mundo es un pañuelo

That’s an ex­pres­sion (“The world is a hand­ker­chief”) I have of­ten heard, and of­ten found true. It means the world is a very small thing and it’s hard for some­thing (or some­one) to get lost in it.

Here are two ex­am­ples:

I went to school with this guy. We were nev­er friends or any­thing. I had com­plete­ly for­got­ten about him. One day, I was walk­ing to the bus stop af­ter teach­ing, and some­one calls me.

It’s him. This was rough­ly 15 years af­ter the last time I saw him.

So, we start talk­ing: he worked 2 blocks away from where I did. And 550Km away from our school, and in a 12 mil­lion peo­ple city.

He had lived un­til three weeks be­fore in an apart­ment around the block from my own.

He usu­al­ly went to the same cafe I did, in the cor­ner of our street­s, but he did so 90 min­utes ear­li­er than I did.

And we had nev­er seen each oth­er.

Then we did. On a third place, which was not re­lat­ed to nei­ther of our jobs or home­s.

Sec­ond ex­am­ple:

I met Rosario on May 25th 2004. Ex­cept I al­most met her in 1995 (or so).

I was telling her last night about an af­fair I once had with a girl that lived a ridicu­lous dis­tance away from me (800km or so) and how I had last seen her in a con­gress of the FUA (Ar­genti­na’s stu­dents or­ga­ni­za­tion) that took place in San­ta Fe, where I was born.

That con­gress had one par­ty (where I broke up with this girl) in my uni­ver­si­ty’s law school.

Well… Rosario was there. I don’t re­mem­ber her, but know­ing the place where that par­ty took place, I could not have been the whole night with­out pass­ing 10 feets away from her.

In fac­t, I can’t get out of my head a false mem­o­ry of a girl look­ing re­mark­ably like my wife sit­ting on a planter with a wor­ried look in her face (she had had some is­sue that day), with a drink in one hand and a cig­a­rette in the oth­er.

I know I did not see her be­cause I did­n´t re­mem­ber this yes­ter­day, but… I end­ed leav­ing the par­ty with an­oth­er wom­an (o­h, be­ing 24, rash and pret­ty stupid… that wom­an was trou­ble). What would have hap­pened if I did­n’t, and start­ed talk­ing with the wom­an sit­ting in the planter?

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