I remember I was thinking, was it yesterday or twenty years ago, about the existence of parallel worlds. Of other places in distant galaxies where someone could drive his Ford Brillo, or whatever the name of it is, into a MacDonalds and order Death in a Bun and a side order of fries, only to discover that the girl behind the counter was the spitting image, in looks and attitude, to the one on Earth who told him to “get lost” and “take a short walk off a cliff” when he asked her out on a date.
After a time you realise that there are possibly no true examples of parallel worlds and that we are all unique creations of a work by Dr Error: at least that has always been my firm impression. Now I’m wobbling a bit, and it’s not just a case of being over-weight. No, the fact is that now, through the internet and blogging, we get to connect with a range and number of people who would have astonished our great grandparents, never mind our distant ancestors.
The wider we cast our net or phone bill, the more likely the chances are that we will come across people whose life experiences, and their responses to them, seem to mirror our own, It’s an eerie feeling. These people might well be removed from us by one or two continents, and even a generation but their lives can seem almost an echo of our own. Needless to say, they offer no solutions. That would be boring. Imagine sitting in a train struggling with a crossword puzzle and wondering what the answer to the clues for 4 across are when a voice pipes up, “Chello”, and continues to supply all the answers till the puzzle is finished. Not knowing the answers, or the ending, is half the fun he cried while asking a passing member of the Taliban if he knew a good recipe for Peach Melba.
Through rigorous self-training and the powers of concentration I have managed to retain the awkwardness of adolescence throughout the dwindling renewals of middle age. More than once, I have been dragged by Norman ‘ Sidebar’ Curiosity off the path of common sense. Always wishing to explore the physical and psychological landscapes in which I find myself is not the motto of Mr Sensible: a gentleman with whom I’ve had few conversations.
I don’t respond , so much, to those who are ‘on board’, ‘on message’ or even on methane. It is the polite outsider who attracts my attention. For me at least, possibly as part of my oddness, it is the sensibility of the Blogger or writer which piques my interest rather than their age or sex. It is the resonance I get from their responses or circumstances. It is a feeling that, yes out there, beyond the scope of normal conversation or interaction, lives a being who is almost my double or ambassador in a different set of circumstances. on a continent I am unlikely to visit. The feeling is strangely re-assuring. It’s almost, if only for a moment, like being less odd.