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Familiar Strangers

Dear friend, chances are, I know much about you. I remember what remarks you made four months ago. Your tastes in drinks, writers and pets are likewise familiar to me. Yet, should we meet by accident, I may well not remember your name and face.

Comics characters have it easy: most everyone in Superman's metropolis or Yohko's Vampire realm has memorable features, be they fiery breath, eyes that take up half of the face or two swords stuck in a sash. And in movies most actors wear trademark outfits that aid identification.
Goatee Mutant Easter Bunny
Unfortunately, most of my friends lack such conviniently distinctive features as forked tongues, luminescent eyes, leathery wings or epicantic folds.
Jail Bait Average Democrat
ribbon
Hi-res

Unusual ribbon

hand with a tattoo
Hi-res

Tattoo

arrow
Hi-res

Texture

Just asking for names and trying to match them to faces did not work all that well. Fortunately, a more detail-oriented approach has succeeeded. Remembering special traits, such as tattoos, scars or skin textures is possible, if none too easy. All I have to do now is check the people I meet for such distinctive marks, and I know whether to greet them as friends or as strangers.
profile

Though eyes hold important clues, touching them to check for contact lenses is discouraged.

outlined torso

A simple equation defines this curve

stretch

Note the scar from heart surgery

The only minor concern is that Minnesota winter is quite cold. If I meet somebody in the street, peeling off layers of clothing looking for visual clues exposes them to the elements...and exposes me to an occasional slap in the face.

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