I do not know you. Do I need to?

(If the person who wrote that reads this, and there is always a chance, forgive me for using it. The thoughts it fired off inside my head are entirely my own. Whose else could they be?)

Everyone, no doubt, has trigger phrases. Constructions that when uttered, cause a reaction of some sort, good, bad, but never indifferent. Indifference is the killer. That implies no passion, no spark, no emotion of any worth, at either extreme. To say everything is satisfactory is to settle for nothing. The vending machine satisfies me. There is no interaction beyond the perfunctory. What is the point of the ordinary? It isn’t a compliment to be normal.

But some of my trigger phrases are slightly more, well, nebulous. It could be a concept. Something said in a certain way which makes me think, makes me happy, makes me warm, makes me cold, make me angry, makes me, well, me.

I don’t know you.

This is a good thing. Everyone kisses a stranger. I scream inside my head, and only I hear. Worlds collide, a symptom of the modern world. What would the chances of this have been a decade ago? Very slim. Of course, me upping and transplanting to Cambridge-Town (damn you, you Cambridge-Town Platonists!) sent me into new arenas. While I didn’t think it was such a big step, more hassle than anything else, others did see it as so.

Do I need to?

No. Not at all. The best response. One I certainly appreciated.

Cassandra and I walked down, in the rain, to the allotment this evening, for a look. (After I intimated that the ground was too dry, we have had rain. Which, these days, I appreciate.) It was a night of the half-light. The it-isn’t-dark, the it-isn’t-even-twilight, but it is dark, and it is light. I love this time of day. It is disorientating, brighter than it looks but not as bright as you think. Under these wide skies, there is only that unreal city to look to. The only meaning of life is more life. It is always quiet, the rain breathing on me, an intimate rain. Cars saunter by, but I can ignore them. It isn’t cold, and the world envelops us, there is only us. Like what it was in my beginning, and what it will be like at my end.

Do I need to?

No, not in the slightest. Break into my life like the half-light.

update Well, upon talking to (younger) types, it seems this isn’t the way I took it, although I won’t revise my opinion, as I like the inference I took. The phenomenon is, to use what is probably a coined-already phrase, facebook friends. Not-quite stalking, just finding people and adding them. Which is why I got the response I did when I asked ‘Do I know you?’ If I were under thirty I may have got this. As to me, I add people I know. I don’t collect trophies. There aren’t any strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet. bang bang

  1. My most immediate trigger phrase starts with “If you’ve nothing to hide”. I’m sure you can guess how it ends.

    Sun 19 Aug, 10:42PM

  2. You’ve done it, you’ve used that word ‘saunter’. I hate that word. Have you ever heard anyone say ‘saunter’? Is that word not meant to be kept and only used in creative writing classes by saddo’s who’s real ambition is to be a blogger.

    Mon 20 Aug, 9:58PM

  3. Ed: It ends with a Labour government, and us railing against the dark night. Or something.

    Cybez: Yes, I grew up with people saying ‘saunter’. Both young and old. God forbid I ever used it in written prose in school. Obviously the villages around the ‘mena were different from the leafy outposts of ‘abbey.

    ‘Ambition to be a blogger’. That made me smile.

    Stray Taoist
    Mon 20 Aug, 10:08PM

  4. You even used the word, I reckon, incorrectly. The dictionary definition of the word Saunter is ‘To walk at a leisurely pace; stroll.’. Or was it referring to the driving habits of JAMES G. SONTERE? :-)

    Tue 21 Aug, 12:10PM

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