I’m face to face with the guy who tormented me in school for years. He looks at me and says, “Hi, I’m Doug.” He doesn’t recognize me. I’m in total disbelief. I remind him that we went to school together and that he wasn’t nice to me. There’s no registration. None. I’m in TOTAL DISBELIEF.
I was coming in on the offense, I was coming in on the defense. I was prepared to confront him and be pissed off. Or I was prepared for him to grovel. What I was not prepared for – what never crossed my mind – is that he would not remember.
This was not one incident. This was YEARS of repeated incidents. He had zero recognition. Like he had never seen me in his life. All the ammo I showed up with to appear funny or clever or mean or successful was worthless. Any accomplishments I was ready to share would only sound braggadocious and honestly would make me seem like an asshole out of context. Because if I met a stranger, I would never name drop. I would never be like, “I’m Bob! Let me tell you how awesome I am!”
In fact, when I do meet a stranger and they ask what I do for a living, I tend to answer, “Stuff…” It’s weird territory and I’m always very conscious of it. So I wouldn’t talk like that to a stranger, and here I am ready to do that to my Sworn Enemy. My Nemesis.
This moment was – I was going to say deflating, but honestly, it was disarming. It disarmed my anger. It disarmed my resentment. It disarmed my fear. It disarmed everything.
He doesn’t remember, and then I’m left holding the bag. What am I supposed to do with this?
In that moment, I stopped caring. I stopped hanging onto Doug Wilson and whatever force that he pushed me towards. There was nothing left to say except, “How’s your hot dog?”