Life as we know it

Tonight, on my way home at the back of a taxi, I thought about what it might be like not being me.

Instead, perhaps one of the trainload of passengers I squeeze alongside, the barista that hands me my coffee, one of the office workers that I ride the elevator with in silence who get off at different floors, the person just ahead of me in a queue, someone who almost bumps into me during the rush hour commute, or the driver whose taxi I get into.

The countless people that go by in a blur, with faces unregistered in my mind, form part of the fleeting moments in my world. Seen through my eyes, they are random beings that make up the background noise in my story. I in turn become an insignificant detail in a moment of a stranger’s mini-universe. Just another nameless face as they lead the life that never existed to me. But at that particular instance, our lives converge as we share the same – and yet different – encounter, only to resume and become separate again.

In a way, it’s like a parallel life – one led by someone else. How did they get here? What happened in the lead up to the moment in time that we share? What stories of a stranger’s life do we become a part of without even knowing?


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