The Stranger


It was funny one day working in the office and a man came up and started to ask a bunch of the interns there names. Not really paying attention to it I continued to work when I felt a tap on the shoulder. Taking off the headphones this man asked me for my name I said “Misha” and out of nowhere he said “I remember you.” And with that he walked away holding a coffee mug out of the lab and into the hallway. It was only a few moments later did someone mention his name did I put two and two together and figure out it was Roy himself.

As the summer rolled on I saw him occasionally walk through the computer lab saying hi to everyone always being cheerful. Although I interacted very little with him, when he came by to view the movies he said what others say was his famous line “Hey I know so and so, who worked on this before. I’ll ask him if he can come by and take a look.” And so the next day sure enough his friend came by and helped me out a lot.

When I received the e-mail about Roy’s death, one question still lurked in my head, “how did he know me before I met him?” And then it hit me. The day when I came in for my interview back in June I was sitting at the conference table waiting, and I remember him sitting next to me shuffling some papers as people were writing a timeline on the whiteboard. All I can remember is exchanging a quick “hi” and that was it. At most it was a total of ten seconds.

I know personally if say hi to a stranger for ten seconds there is a good chance that I won’t remember them a month later. But Roy was different; somehow he would remember you even if you did not remember him.



Misha Vinokur, “The Stranger,” Thanks, Roy, accessed March 24, 2023,

Output Formats