Into London today for a meeting with the fine people at Acast. I thought I might do some shopping or sightseeing after, but it was a bit too cold so I just had lunch and came home again.
I walked up from the Strand to Holborn looking at the passerby and wondering about their stories. Who knew all the amazing and terrible things that these strangers might have done or what events had brought them to this almost shared moment. It would be the only time our lives would intersect (and only peripherally) for some of them, others might play a part in my life - or already have - or maybe one day they’d be my best friend or lover (only if my wife had sadly died) or best friend. Or all three.
Every one of these fuckers is the star of the film that is their own life and there’s millions of them, maybe even billions. Who knows? No one has ever counted them all. What if their life is more exciting than mine and I’m just “bloke who passed them in the street near Holborn” in the credits. And that’s how I am remembered.
To be fair, it’s nice to know I might be briefly in a better film than the one I ended up starring in.
Some people looked like people that I knew - in the glass revolving door on the way out of the meeting I had briefly locked eyes with a woman entering the building, thought I might know her and only a couple of minutes later thought it might have been someone I’d had a brief relationship with back in 2007. Had neither of us recognised each other? I realised that like me, that particular woman would be 16 years older now and so it almost certainly wasn’t her. But fun to think that we might pass in the night (well lunchtime) encased in our own little glass podules and not twig who each other was.
On the way up the road I saw an older man wearing a surprisingly bright shirt and this time when he’d passed I realised that it was almost certainly Tony Slattery - though again maybe my mind was trying to recognise the familiar in the unfamiliar. He was gone before I’d realised though.
Was the world throwing up people I knew or was I just trying to see people from my past - like when you do the Fringe and for a few days afterwards you think you see familiar people in the crowd, even though you’re now in a different city?
Once back at Welwyn Garden City I made a last minute decision to pop to the supermarket and at the check out there was a bona fide coincidence as the man behind me in the queue, who I hadn’t clocked, recognised my voice as I asked for a bag and turned out to be my father-in-law. It’s true that we both live relatively locally, but it was still somewhat unlikely we’d be in the supermarket at the same time (Waitrose too, he’s very much a Tesco man! - he literally is, as he used to work for them) and then at the same check out. He does idolise me though, so there’s a chance he was stalking me.