Friday, April 15, 2022

Microstory 1865: True Security

This is the dumbest story from my life. Maybe that’s not the right word for it. Silly, I suppose. It’s certainly not the kind of thing a person should be thinking about as they’re on the brink of death. A normal person wouldn’t, anyway. I was known in my day as someone with an excellent memory. I didn’t have any supernatural ability, or even a diagnosable condition, like hyperthymesia or an eidetic memory, but I was good. In particular, I never forgot a name, and I never forgot a face. So it was a little jarring when a random woman came up to me in the bread aisle of the grocery store, acting like we were old pals. As she started talking, I was thinking that maybe she was mistaking me for someone else. I hear that sort of thing happens to other people. But while the things she was talking about didn’t make any sense, she used enough keywords for me to think that maybe we did know each other somehow, and I started questioning my confidence in my amazing mental faculties. Maybe I forgot people and things all the time, but they never came up again, so I never had the chance to even realize it. Perhaps this woman was tapping into a weakness that I was too blind to see I had at all. Was she a witch? A god? Was she still talking? I couldn’t understand most of what she was saying, her lips were moving so fast. She didn’t have an accent from my perspective, and she wasn’t mumbling, it was just too fast. I wished I had a little remote that would let me slow her down. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I would probably just mute her, or turn her off. I didn’t need to talk to this person, except maybe I did, because she knew me, and I needed to know how! Yes, I had a cat when I was a child. No, his name wasn’t Mittens, it was Buttons. My first car? I made one up, because I don’t drive.

I keep trying to listen to her, but then I really did get bored of the “conversation” and wished that I could simply walk away. If I were anywhere else, I might have been able to, but I had this cart full of food. She would probably follow me, and skip the milk this week just so she wouldn’t have to end our little one-sided chat. Of course, I could have left my cart, and proceeded right to the exit, but that would have looked so weird, and again, what if she really did know me, and she tracked me down, and tried to spark a friendship? What was that about my mother’s maiden name? I still couldn’t—oh my God, she’s a scam artist. This woman was trying to get my bank information to steal my identity. Keep in mind that this was in the early days of the internet, so people were still mining for information in the real world. It was still bizarre. Joke’s on her, because of my great memory, all of my security answers were fake. I don’t find it any more difficult to recall a food that isn’t my favorite than one that is. It’s tomatoes, by the way, but I told her pizza, because that’s a normal answer. Then I just keep leading her on with her stupid little questions. I met my spouse in a city I had never been too, and also, I’m not married. The name of my first celebrity crush is an actor that I hate. My astrological sign? Really? I’ve never even seen that question before, and I would never use it, because it’s too easy to find out. I don’t even bother lying to her about that one. She went through so many questions, finding clever ways to sprinkle them in, I was almost impressed. Once she was satisfied, she claimed she had to get going, and we parted ways. It wasn’t until I tried to pay that I discovered my wallet missing. I realized that she wasn’t only probing for security answers. She was also distracting me from a pickpocket.

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