"As we get older, we often fail too see the present for what it is instead of that we would wish it to be. Such aged disillusionment is common, especially if we are beset with ill-health or experience too much loneliness and absence of meaningful purpose and satisfactory daily contact.
In such circumstances, many elderly people live from day to day and allow any possible happier future pass them by as they walk the streets with their head pointed downwards to match their prevailing mood.
There have been many an occasion when I have been out somewhere and have seen a familiar face from my past that I could not put a name to. I often muse as I ask myself the nature of the joint experience we may have shared. Was she an old girlfriend I once dated in my teenage years or perhaps a young woman I once danced with at the Town Hall, walked home with, kissed and cuddled or even related to more intimately?
I wonder how many old people with heads down as they walk the street, pass old flames that once lit up a lonely night in their youth and made the stars in the heavens appear brighter then they might otherwise have been. Often it is appropriate to our circumstances to let the past walk by without recognition, and on other times, who knows where a, 'Hello there! Is it...is it Mary from...?' might lead you.
As one gets older we must beware of our recall playing tricks on us. I once remember seeing this woman in a pub when I was aged around 40 years after I'd decided to have a drink in a place that I frequently patronised as a young man. The woman's face who caught my attention looked so familiar that I was convinced it was a face from my past. For half an hour I racked my memory cells but couldn't recall. Iritated by my failure to put a name to the face, I approached the woman in question and asked. As it transpired after a brief question and answer session, I did not know the woman in question, but I did accurately recognise the face as having been a face from my past. She turned out to be a child to a woman I once dated and danced with as a teenager growing up on Windybank Estate. As I left the pub that night, I smiled wryly to myself and was so pleased that the extent of my physical contact with the woman's mother had been confined to a few harmless dates and a number of dances only.
I often wondered afterwards which road my life would have taken me on had it not been so innocent an outcome, and the age of the woman's daughter had been too close to my past for comfort?": William Forde: May 9th, 2018.