Recently someone came here looking for ‘ros barber prosopagnosia poem’. Although it wasn’t called that, I know exactly what they were looking for – an unpublished poem I wrote at the end of the last millennium about the embarrassing affliction of face-blindness. I wasn’t aware there was a scientific name for my condition in those days, so it was simply called ‘Who Are You?’ Having renamed it, and to help fellow sufferers locate said thing in the future, I am publishing it here for the first time.
Nowadays I’m pretty open about my ridiculous inability to recognise/remember people, but I did once invite a visitor into my house (who clearly expected me to know who he was), make him a cup of tea, and chat with him for half an hour, before making an excuse that I had to go out (I didn’t) in order to rid myself of this unplaceable person who seemed to know all about me and my family, but wasn’t helping me out with any clues as to his identity. He decided to walk up the road with me (perpetuating my agony), and as we parted ways, said ‘I’ll go and see Kay then’. Huge relief as I made the connection – friend of Kay’s! The guitarist whose gig we had attended a couple of months previously and put up for the night! (Still couldn’t recall his name.) I very much doubt he missed the blossoming of comprehension across my face. He hasn’t been back.