It must have been a brief moment of something significant, a tug, a pull, a communication from above, something too brief and in passing, but something that definitely was. Call it a spell, call it hallucination, or counting the years misspent and in anticipation, the years that melted away into memories and more memories piling up, of a big, fat album in the mind. I would often turn the pages of the album in solitude, in loneliness, alone in a crowd, watching the world go by me. I would flip the pages in my mind and before I know, minutes, and hours would sift and slip by my fingers, like fine silk. If it had been a message from somewhere that was destined to be, and not to be at the same time, I would not know. For when something doesn’t make sense, doesn’t have a reason, or doesn’t seem explicable using the finiteness of the senses, science turns into philosophy. I sit for hours in a crowd, waiting to catch the next plane, and think of all the philosophy packed into the head, flipping through the pages of the album that exists only in my mind now, and like a movie, credits roll and things play by again and again right in front of me. I become a spectator of my own life. To think that it is but a faded memory, living far and deep into the recesses of the past now, to try and distinguish the fact from the fantasy, or the things that exist in the mind versus the things that exist, is an ordeal. To see a carnival of people walk by me, away from something, toward something, with something, and to wonder why I see the people I see, for is it but a chance event, a phenomenon of randomness, or something conspired and connived, is beyond me. I know not if they are but apparitions floating around me, tricking me into believing they exist, but not in reality. If one could see beyond the natural, they would see thin green lines connecting people, almost like a laser beam, the tug, the pull that we do not sense or perceive, but which exists nevertheless. There was a similar line between us, something that could potentially make me sense you, your existence in a crowd of unknowns. The sun that set from your window is the same sun I just watched rise. And we continued our efforts, trying to make sense of the atoms and the molecules around us, how they behave in particular ways, and why they behave thus. To think we were all a part of the grand scheme of things we had no knowledge of, and no control over, happily walking by the ocean in a perfectly moonlit night, not cognizant of the thousand forces that make paths cross, and the thousand more forces that make people go their own separate ways. Call it fate or destiny, or call it an accident, maybe a happy accident, it is the same feeling of deciding to choose to take this bus every morning, or wear this dress one morning, and not that one. Who knows where the other bus would have led. So true it felt when you said, the future is scarier than the past. For the past is what it already is, immutable, like an imprint, a page out of a diary, a picture out of an album of memories. I speak predictably, and in clichés, yada yada yada. But for the same reasons you give me, the past to me is scarier than the future, for it is what is already is, immutable, like an imprint, a page out of the diary that is already written, and cannot be erased. When accidents happen in life, things do not come crashing into one another. It is subtle, and perhaps more potent and dangerous thus. Sometimes, all it takes is an innocuous click of the finger, a nod of yes or no, an assent, or a dissent. And years into things, you sit as lonely as ever amidst a crowd, looking back and wondering. Wondering who you ended up being, and who you wanted to end up being. And then you close the album, get up, walk past me and take the next plane, moving onto newer things, continuing to pile on memories one above the other, totally oblivious of me. Life goes on, and so do you, and I, and everyone around us. But sometimes, a random face amidst strangers would remind me of you, make me slow down my pace and turn back to look, to wonder if it was indeed another sign to be picked up, a sign amidst the million ones that were already lost on me, and then some more.