The strangers you thought you knew.

17 Apr

Who are the people closest to us?

By proximity:
Family? Friends? Co-workers? Classmates?

By influence:
Family? Friends? Our screen idols and other people in the media? The government? Religious leaders?

There are people whom though we’ve never personally met, we still feel “close” to. Some of them are constantly on our minds. Reason may be because they directly or indirectly touch our lives. We might have gotten fascinated with how they talk and carry themselves around. You may have found that their world view is similar to yours and, snap! you just feel a sense of intimacy with them. We have favourite senators, favourite actresses, favourite footballers, etc.

Some time ago, I felt quite close to an actress – Stephanie Okereke, for my empathy for a role she played in a movie. She lingered in my subconscious for quite a while. I’ve felt that way for a number of other people even though I’ve never once met them in person. It’s a transient feeling.
If I got to meet Stephanie in person and she turned out to be everything I thought she was not, I wouldn’t be too shocked.

But, having lived with my siblings for a long time, having cemented the belief that I know each one of them thoroughly well, I would certainly be shocked if I was presented with the “reality” of any of them being everything I thought they were not – in terms of everything. The same would apply about people I’m very close friends with.

I once discovered found that an inseparable friend of mine loved to eat chalk. While it may not be a big deal to eat chalk, I was confounded at the realisation that the discovery was indeed a fact. She had some form of a “disorder” called Pica. You know, I couldn’t take it. I denied it. It was such a big deal to me at the time. There are some things I’ve never thought could happen to myself or the people around me. I’m more at home with the fact now. It’s more funny to me now than astounding. My friend was at a time a teacher in a primary school. I imagined, “you’d ask.. Where did all the chalk go?”
If she was a guest at your house, you’d do well to offer her some chalk instead of biscuits. Strange, innit?

At least one other friend of mine has pica. She’s OK and normal.
Pregnant women could also experience pica, in various forms.

There are aspects of people’s lives that may never surface for the outside world to see. Right now, I never assume to know a lot about anybody, no matter how close we are.

Some of these aspects are actually actively hidden – stowed away by the individual.
Some remain hidden simply for the fact that nothing warrants their showing up.

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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