Even now, his anger quickly dissipates when he hears some street busker strumming away and singing "Wonderwall," and he strolls over to where people are inexplicably standing around listening to some street performer warble away a song that's been played a million times on the radio already, instead of hurrying by. There's a guy in Moose Jaw who is probably the worst street performer I've ever seen. I never actually heard him play, but that's part of what makes him so bad. He sits on a bench outside city hall, smoking, guitar at his feet. When you pass by, he croaks out, in a two-packs-a-day-for-fifty-years voice, "Ya wanna hear a song?" In my four years there, I never once saw anyone take him up on it. Now, I kind of wish I had, because what does it sound like when a guy with a voice like a car accident sings a song?
Anyway, in this case, the singer is a clean-shaven Charlie Pace, so I figure we're supposed to infer that this is pre-Driveshaft fame and fortune. And as Driveshaft seems modeled after Oasis, the choice of song is a nice touch -- not to mention that the lyrics go, "And maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me." Remember that for later.
Charlie finishes up and thanks the people who are just showering him with money. Someone puts in a "fiver" like AS IF, not to mention the thunderous applause of the crowd. Desmond walks up, fixated on Charlie, and says, "I know you? How do I know you?" And Charlie ignores him at first, and finally says that he doesn't know Desmond, but he'll remember if he "could get some help," indicating the open guitar case, so I guess for Charlie, being a busker is a lot like being a police informant.
Instead, Desmond flashes back to when Swan station was imploding, including when Charlie asked Desmond for help. "You're Charlie," says London Desmond. "Yeah, name's on the sign," says Charlie, and sure enough, "Charlie Hieronymous Pace is on the sign. "Hieronymous"? Really? Fortunately, by the time Driveshaft came along, Charlie Pace had learned a thing or two about show business, I suppose.
More flashbacks for Desmond, of Clancy Brown, both alive and dead, the timer run down to the hieroglyphs, everything going nuts as the hatch implodes. Desmond starts wigging out right there on the street, going off about the hatch and how he remembers Charlie, and there being a computer, and a button, and how they were on an island. "We are on an island, mate. This is England," says Charlie, as non-helpful as ever even in flashbacks. But Desmond's going crazy now, saying it was real and he remembers it. Charlie turns to the crowd and says, "This is why we don't do drugs." That, and so we don't sleep with clap-ridden Poison-loving skanks who beat us up. (Boy, how much do I not miss college.) Desmond apparently remembers this day too, as he starts babbling about remembering Widmore saying he wasn't worthy, and then losing his tie and Penny asking where it was, and then it started to rain...