Tuesday, April 03, 2012

750words - Take a chance on a stranger...

So, no Misery in Middale tonight because I'm back a lot later from Birmingham than I wanted to be and don't have time to devote to a proper entry. Which is annoying. Though I haven't printed off the last two days entries and I find as I'm going further and further along with it I'm having to refer more and more to to the backstory to keep up continuity and the like. Which is fine, it just means it is becoming slightly more work each time. I've no problem with that - I was hardly going to be able to wing over two weeks of story bits if I wanted them to make sense, especially with all the minor characters who keep showing up every day. I did have a plan to actually write up a story arc and some actual notes as part of the story in a notebook I have but that has fallen by the wayside. I have some very basic character details on all the characters so far but nothing really expanded and nothing of any great worth.
But who cares - I'm enjoying it - I have several steps to go before I get to the big climax - I just hope I can do it justice after the build up and positive feedback I've been having.
I'm not even that fussed about being back that late from Birmingham - mainly because I actually got talking to someone who was in even more dire straits than I was - having to get back to Cardiff on a train that was delayed by about 50 minutes and which spent about 20 minutes longer getting to Cheltenham than it should have done.

And it got me thinking about chance meetings again, how something so small and innocuous (in this case, me agreeing to watch her bags for her while she went to get a drink) could have led to a very pleasant hour and a half talking to someone who otherwise would have just been another (very attractive) face in the crowd of people using our public transport to get back to their own facet of their life. But it's those moments that snowball, I watched her bags, she lost her space on the bench was people took the part of it she was sitting on and ended up sitting next to me, I made a sarcastic comment about how the robotic voice at New Street station was "Very Sorry For The Delay To Your Service" (... It just sounds like one of those voices that needs every word capitalised. I don't know why,) and that kicked off a fantastic conversation ranging from things to Scientology, Anonymous, movies, celebs, Tim Minchin, things wrong with the world, comedy, the evils of reality/'train wreck' TV and some more besides. The meeting ended with me giving her my Facebook details (as she'd lost her phone and asked); I did something I (thought was) fairly charming and kissed her lightly on the back of the hand (biggest faux pas ever Y/Y?) and we parted ways come Cheltenham. Even if she never gets in touch again - the fact that - at that point - two people from different walks of life, from different births, from different interests and beginnings can meet on a random night when we both share a common grievance (bloody trains) and make small talk for an hour and a half is - thinking about it - massively MIND BLOWING. It's a certain kinship to it, that 'temporary friend' analogy from Fight Club (or whatever point he's trying to make on the plane to the guy next to him) that can only be made from travelling on public transport. And the fact that we seemed to be able to gel and hop from topic to topic with some kind of mutual interest in various topics along the way is even MORE mind blowing in my eyes as the chance that people would agree on things and laugh and share a bond like that is - or seems at least - a relatively infinitesimally small chance of happening.

Yet it did - and it does every single day - where people who are annoyed at the world, or are wandering, or are lost, or who are just watching the world go by meet other people in similar and different positions. And for a brief second, their lives touch and they imprint themselves on the other. Sometimes nothing comes of the meeting, it's a one off - you might think fondly of that person later or you might just forget each other completely. On the other hand, sometimes it's a life changing event, even if you can't see it at first, hours, days, weeks, months or even years down the line it can affect the way the rest of your life turns out.

One facet of my life involves three of my best friends - three of the best people I could ever hope to know. They've been with me for over 10 years now. From the awkward beginnings of when I was about 16 and they were... younger to now. Where one of us is engaged, one is at uni and 2 are renting our own place with a job or job hunting. I can't really talk for across those three but they each have been there for me in one guise or another - where our paths cross and touch - for ten years.
But I can trace our friendship, I can trace meeting them and them becoming one of the biggest positive influences in my life back to the actions of one person who introduced me to a little message board on ezBoard all those years ago called Shadow Pathways. Without that one person - a girl called Emma who I went to college with - I wouldn't have joined SP, I wouldn't have met Emily, and Emily wouldn't have introduced me to Darren Shan and the Shan boards. The rest - as they say - is history.

I suppose what I'm trying to say - if this blog post had a point - is to embrace the moments when your path crosses with a stranger. If someone on the train or on a bus or something meets your eye, smile and say hi. Compliment them, ask them a question about the book they're reading just try and strike up a conversation. Okay - 8/10 times you'll probably get told - if not in words then in body language - to fuck right off, but you never know when that connection would be made, you never know when you could find that kinship and have a friendship appear out of no where.

You never know if that person who catches your eye and grabs your attention could change your life.

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