Degrees of Separation

Degrees of SeparationIt’s quite remarkable how, perhaps moreso now than ever, we can find that we are somehow connected to one another, however loosely. Last weekend, while The Quad was in Montréal from Fredericton for some vacation R & R, I found a very indirect but nonethelesss fascinating connection with fellow Montréal blogger Tornwordo.

It has to be understood that The Quad, whom I’ve known since I was 12, is perhaps the most gregarious person I know. As a result, I suspect it’s impossible for him to travel incognito. No matter where he is, he is bound to come across someone he knows while minding his own business on just about any street in any Canadian city. Or, if not, he’s meeting someone who likely will be added to his vast repertoire of people he’ll unexpectedly bump into weeks, months, or years later. In fact, it’s through The Quad that I met Jain (a.k.a. The Pastry Monster), whom I had called the weekend before to urge her to come to Montréal while The Quad would be visiting, which she did.

While in Montréal, The Quad went to dinner with someone he befriended about a decade ago at some rather extraordinary event in which they were called upon to participate. Before dinner, he told us how she was a very interesting, knowledgeable, sophisticated and successful lady who works extremely hard but who, for some reason, has had a great deal of difficulty learning English despite expending extraordinary time, effort and money to learn the language. He was going to meet her for dinner after she got back from spending several hours with a private tutor in her continuing effort to parler anglais. Another attempt by this lady to perfect her English consisted of spending considerable time in Nova Scotia, whereupon Jain thought, but couldn’t confirm, that she may have met her and even spent some time in a car with her, going from some town to another.

Around 11:00 that evening, The Quad met us in the Village after his dinner. At one point, he mentioned how she spoke very highly of her English-language tutor, and he proceeded to give a description I instantly recognized.

I asked, “Would her tutor’s name be Tornwordo by any chance?” To which The Quad added, “…who’s married to this Québécois named Spouse? You know them???”

We were all floored.

I think it was about four years ago while still living in Halifax that I stumbled across this blog by a guy from California living in Montréal with the guy to whom he’s now married. I took a liking to his writing and, one night, I even read everything back to the beginning of his blog, enjoying his little video montages and the accounts of his travails with one he dubbed Nude Dancer. Afterwards, aside from comments on each other’s blog, we very occasionally e-mailed, like the time he had an apartment to rent just days before I would be coming to Montréal to apartment shop. (Turned out he rented it out within hours of posting an ad for it, so that didn’t work out.) Other than that, we met in person precisely once, for perhaps 3 minutes two summers ago, when I recognized him and Spouse walking down the closed-off street in the Village. Thus, it’s probably fair to say that ours is more a case of knowing of each other than truly knowing each other.

But still! I can’t help but marvel at these kind of connections or coincidences. Like, how was I to know that day in June 2001 when I switched Web host that one of that company’s owners would move to Nova Scotia to marry one of my now best friends who, in June 2001, I had only met once and would be staying on my couch a few weeks later as she would be beginning her new job in Halifax? Or when, during one of my stays in Chilangolandia, my now-estranged spouse introduced me to one of his friends who needed no explanation of what or where “Moncton” is because he’s been doing his master’s degree in Aix-en-Provence where one of his classmates is an Acadian from Moncton. After all, it would be reasonable to expect someone from Mexico never to have heard of that speck-on-the-world-map called Moncton!

So, allow me to indulge in a little kumbaya moment without Kumbaya… 🙂

Oh we are mirrors in the sun and we brightly shine
We are signing and dancing in perfect time
There is nothing in the world that we can do
To stop the light of love come shining through…