Prosopagnosia

AlbatrossSalidoFdz via Creative Commons

…He fell asleep in my arms.” She says this as if I’m supposed to know who she’s referring to. A lover? A child? A family member succumbing to a disease? This is the moment to ask questions. I only nod my head.

My brain doesn’t process faces correctly. The clinical term is prosopagnosia. I think about the phrase, “The last time I saw …” Every time I see anyone is the first time I meet them. People with distinctive voices become my best friends. I can pick them out of a crowd, as long as they’re talking.

Sonda doesn’t have a distinctive voice. I know it’s her because I recognize her car and she’s one of the few African-American women I know. But I suppose she could be someone I just met. Maybe everyone in the world is playing an elaborate prank, with different actors replacing each other every few days. Often enough to confuse me. “The last time I saw Winnie, I was played by a chubby Irish guy.” Sounds like a funny joke only I’m not laughing.

I never fall asleep in anyone’s arms. I don’t like waking up in stranger’s beds. Every time is the first.