Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Picturing the World through Kaleidoscope Eyes

While spending a bit of time farting around on-line last evening - living the dream by the arm's length - I stumbled across something that initially struck me as curious and, thereafter, struck me as being a bit off putting. In the midst of scoping out the goings/comings of the virtual community to which I virtually belong I discovered that I had been defriended.

In the ephemeral world of the Internet friendship apparently is fleeting. Candidly, I am not quite certain why the defriender and I had become "friends" on-line. A lifetime ago - as kids - we were classmates for a couple of years. In the face-to-face day-to-day of the terra firma world we were not anything more or less than two kids who went to school together. We were "friends" only in the broadest possible definitional sense of the word.

Nevertheless I must confess that discovering that I had been snubbed by this person - thirty years after last having been in one another's company - seemed a bit perplexing. What had I done to deserve this slight? (Understand that the preceding is a rhetorical question - not an open invitation to turn this into a dialogue so even if your (a) imagination; or (b) personal experience dealing with me provides you with one or more possible answers to it, keep them to yourself). It almost amounted to a figurative shot across the bow.

Almost. As quickly as I allowed the thought of being deemed unworthy of something as non-interactive as cyber friendship to enter my mind, I allowed myself to think: so what? There is a reasonable likelihood that - having not seen one another over the course of the past three decades - we will live the remainder of our respective lives without doing so. All in all, being booted from the cool kids' table was not as traumatizing an experience as I had originally feared.

And it is a good thing that I do not rattle easily. On Thanksgiving morning, as I was driving to the office in the wee small hours my beloved Skate was struck by another car. For reasons known only to the guy who hit me, the car in the adjoining lane on Route 22 drifted to its right, into my lane and struck my car. In the interests of full disclosure, the only part of my car that was struck was the side-view mirror on the driver's side. I presume that it was the other dude's mirror that hit mine for I caught a glimpse of something in my rear-view mirror hurtling through space towards the woods on the side of the road and in the moment's look I got at it it sort of looked like a mirror.

The other fellow did nice work on my mirror before speeding off towards Grandma's house in the darkness. He (or she) did not succeed in dislodging it from its perch altogether. However the "after" view through Skate's left eye is not what it used to be. Where I once saw one image in the glass, I now see eight. It has perhaps made me a more cautious driver as prior to making a lane change I must wait for at least a simple majority of the images to replicate one another.

In worlds virtual and real, things are not always what they appear.

-AK

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