“Is your name Jeff?”
“Yes.” I looked at my questioner’s face and tried to match it to an acquaintance’s.
“Your last name is Sharman?”
“Yes.” I felt disarmed for a moment and studied the face behind the beard. Just before he said it out loud, the name of a high school classmate surfaced in my mind.
“What have you been up to?”
“Not much lately,” too stunned from finding myself talking to somebody so unexpected and practically forgotten to choose what from the last eight years to mention.
He hedged at first when I asked what he was doing, either because he was under the same dilemma or because he wasn’t satisfied with my answer.
We traded a few more comments and he moved on.