Monday, 28 September 2015

Oddness and a Little Experiment.

I don’t know what it is about Uttoxeter, but I see somebody strange there nearly every time I go. The strange girl I mentioned last week was in the library again. She didn’t accost me this time, just walked around with a plastic cup of something-or-other, talking to herself in a foreign language. Then she sat at a computer and talked on a mobile phone in what I assumed was the same foreign language (but how would I know? They both sounded Slavic, and it’s entirely possible that she was still talking to herself, only with a phone held to her ear. Uttoxeter is that sort of town.)

And there was another strange woman in a shop, talking to a more or less normal man. I looked at all aspects of her physical being – her clothes, her hairstyle, her face, even her body language – and everything was pretty regulation. And yet there was something about the way she was that made her odd almost to the point of freaky. Alien energies, maybe. What else is there?

So then I decided that, since my mind was set on the switch between normal and abnormal, I would try an experiment. I would smile at a stranger and see what happened. (Enough of them do it to me, so it seemed reasonable to fire a salvo back.)

But what sort of person to choose? Obviously it couldn’t be a man, since he might wink at me or something, and then where would I be? I decided it had to be a woman. It couldn’t be a young woman, of course, because she might panic and call the police. And it was too risky to choose an old one since they're too given to latching onto you and talking you to death. I chose a woman of around forty who looked athletic, reasoning that athletic people are usually both emotionally secure and in a hurry. I did it. I caught her eye and smiled at her.

Would she frown and demand ‘What?’ Would she look the other way disdainfully and hurry on? Would she pretend not to have seen me at all? Nope. She smiled back. Experiment concluded. (I doubt I’ll make a habit of it, though.)

Ah, but what I haven’t relayed here is the really, really strange thing that happened. It was a classic matrix moment, the magnitude of which I’ve never experienced before. I examined the phenomenon from all angles seeking a rational explanation, but couldn’t find one. And I’m not saying any more than that because I don’t want anybody to worry about me.

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