This time, as I walked passed him, he said, "I know you." I stopped and, since I am always just a little more enthusiastic than a situation calls for, half shouted, "yes, hi, but how." He told me his name was Fernando and that he owned a store on Astoria Boulevard. Four years ago Mike and I lived there and as soon as he said it I could see him standing outside the store and knew him. He told me that I walked by him every morning for a few years back then and always said hello, that he knew my hello when I gave it to him earlier that day. I asked why he was down in this part of the neighborhood and he said that he moved into the building next door and relocated his shop to 35th Avenue.
It was a small thing, two minutes of talking in front of my building, but I love that a hundred mornings of hello's a few years ago can mean that this man and I are still connected. And, in a selfish way, I kind of love feeling remembered.