Wednesday, 15 August 2012

More in common with an acquaintance than even I could have imagined

You know how some people are just 'there'. In the background. Popping up at regular intervals in your life and you don't delve any further into what or who you have in common?  

Well, you know how some people you meet you feel as if you have something in common and it feels important to get to know every detail, so you can compare stories, find out what you have done the same, where you have been different.  Then there are the opposite people. The ones you just know not to bother 'getting into it' with?  

Category One, people you know you have something in common with, Category Two, people you know you have nothing in common with and then there are Category Three people...people you don't yet know you have something in common with.  So, they are neither here nor there. Not a friend. Not an acquaintance, just a fleeting relationship. You have had something to do with them, you know their name, perhaps a few minor, inconsequential details,  but nothing worth writing home about.  So, you don't bother delving into your shared history, you think they are Category Two peeps.  That is, until they keep showing up.  Over and over your paths cross until you uncover the connection.

I have had a Category Two person turn into a Category One.  There is this man, called Matthew. I first met him in 2003-4 somewhere around there.  I was on a counselling course, learning to listen, he was also in the room as a helper, helping to take notes for someone in the class. So, although he was in the class, he wasn't involved in the same way as the other people.  Human being who was 'there' but not really 'there', he was involved as a participant and so I didn't get to know him. We had a laugh nevertheless and kept our conversation purely non-counselling. I respected his boundaries, he wasn't in the class to be counselled or to join in with our navel gazing exercises, he was there to take notes.  The class was fun and there were some great people with whom I enjoyed the learning experience.

A couple of years pass by, I can't remember how many and I am sitting outside a pub having a lemonade and spending time with a friend who has is suffering from a bereavement. Her son's Granddad has died.  Matthew comes and joins us for a lemonade and we spend a lovely couple of hours having a chat, sitting in the sun, we all got sunburnt down one side and my friend and I will remember the afternoon as the marking of her ex-father-in-law's passing.  With Matthew.

A few more years pass, our paths cross, as I am walking between jobs, he is cycling between jobs, I tell him my son has gone to University and he listens to all the details (which must surely bore him, but he is polite enough to listen).  I am not sure that we really have anything to say to each other. Except that we keep meeting. I mean not 'keep' as in, every day or week, month or even year, but we keep showing up in each other's lives.

So, it is no surprise to me that as I walk past the church where I recently attended a funeral, who should be coming the opposite way?  Matthew. Being the polite individuals that we are, both of us stop, purely out of politeness.  I am somehow aware that I have seen Matthew speaking to some gas engineers in Ditton Court Road (I vaguely caught him out of the corner of my eye as I was on my Avon travels).  I happen to mention that I saw him in Ditton Court Road. 

'I live there' he says
'I used to live there' I say as well, he probably thinks I am repeating him  'I used to live at number 8'
'next door to me?' he says, 'no wait, I live at 8a'
'oh!' you live downstairs?
'no, I live upstairs at 8a' he explains
'I lived upstairs at number 8, maybe it was called 8a' it was so long ago, I cannot really remember if it was number 8 or 8a, but it was upstairs at the building number 8.

From the age of 18 - 20 ish I lived in the flat where Matthew has been living all this time.  How bizarre.

 When I first said I lived at number 8 and Matthew said 'next door to me?' it was because the information I gave him was too much of a coincidence for his mind to be able to compute what I was saying to him!  He thought I must at least have been just one of his neighbours. Not the actual same flat where he lives.  Yes, the actual same flat where he lives.

Living for coincidence.

Lots of love and light to everyone who needs it.

Tamasin x

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