I had a best friend once. We used to trade books and CDs,
stories and URLs and for a time, we shared the same dreams.
One of the best things about this relationship was the unspoken one. The one we never commented on. We pretended never existed. This was the relationship we had with our trades.
It started out simply. He was as voracious a reader as I was. We had similar tastes in many mediums. We were decades apart in ages, but those years disappeared with the music or the words on the page translating into pictures in my mind. With the movies we never watched together but discussed. He would bring me some books. I'd exchange them for some CDs. We'd go about reading and listening in our own lives. Grab a coffee between discussions.
The books I read always meant something to me. They told me of a secret storyline - a separate life - a possibility that existed only in fiction. The fiction of P.K. Dick, Dan Simmons or Jonathan Carroll. These stories were enough for a time. But more often than not, there was some strong character or plot development that hit a little too close to our reality. Possibility. It stung when I read those sections, written by authors who had no knowledge of me, yet described my situation perfectly. It was not just synchronicity. It was a big fat arrow with flashing neon lights. I had trouble breathing.
Drama happened, as is often the case. We became badly bruised and went limping to our corners, licking our wounds.
2006 arrived and with it: two books by my favorite author. To read Carroll's words is like adventure to Pippi Longstocking. Vibrant, full of life, passionate, unexpected. He sent those two books down.
I've been hesitant to open them. To turn the page and read the words. To see what world he's created (Jonathan this time). It's not just reading the stories. It's reading descriptions of my friend, reading descriptions of myself, written by an author I have never met, and probably never will. (Although he has an outstanding drink offer.)
I will finish reading Glass Soup, but I fear what synchronicity comes next. But it's too late to get off this rollercoaster, and even if I could, I doubt I would. There are still many wild cards waiting to be discovered.