Friday, January 06, 2006

To the best of my recollection

Lately I've found myself examining the people around me - on the train, on the sidewalk, in stores - and wondering; if something were to go down, some crime or catastrophe, would I be able to identify them clearly and specifically after the fact?

It's a strange thought, it made me realize just how little I examine my daily life. Could I dictate a police sketch of the person that sat across from me this morning?
If I met someone in passing two years ago and they committed a crime in the present, could I recognize them now?

I also realized that I lack the language to properly describe facial characteristics. How can I be sure that the "tufted bangs" and "sloping forehead" and "prominent jaw" that I would describe mean the same thing to someone else?

Hell, sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder if it really is me staring back. The real me? The same one as yesterday? Are you sure?

2 comments:

Andreas said...

there's this experiment in which an unsuspecting person on the street is approached by somebody carrying a map and asking for directions.
Then a distraction is generated during which the experimenters exchange the person asking for directions with a completely different person in the same outfit with the same map. Almost nobody notices.

Brendan said...

That is brilliant.