The molecules coalesced from a zillion locations and then I was here. It was arbitrary. I could have been someone else or not existed at all. But here I am.
Okay. It was a little more complicated than that. There were some people involved. And sex. And a fair amount of alcohol. But I’m simplifying. Stay with me.
So, anyway, here I am. A creature with certain inborn qualities and living in a particular environment that has its inevitable effects. I did what would be expected of me, behaving with the natural limits of the system.
I was happy, indifferent, sad. I worked and played and slept. I grew. I socialized. I withdrew. I was nobody, invisible.
Meanwhile, you had coalesced by a similar process. You had different qualities but lived within the same limits. You seemed vulnerable yet strong. Lost yet in charge of yourself. Funny but pretty damn serious. You were lovely.
We were separated by hundreds of miles. But it was within the limits of the system for us to meet. We did.
You knew your environment. You watched, listened, understood. You quietly shaped events on the rare opportunities when that was possible.
I saw you. I tried to look away. I didn’t belong here. I did not want to get stuck. I did look away but my mind still looked at you. Stared and contemplated.
You treated me like anyone else, with complete focus.
You saw my frown.
“Are you okay?”
Just words. Ordinary common words. Small talk. But you looked in my eyes when you said that. You saw me. Nobody has ever seen me but you—before or since.
I returned home. I went on as before. But different. I’ll always remember that moment until my molecules scatter.