This is Day 6 of My 21 Days of Transience, and nothing could be much more transient than this…

There we are, me and my mother, on an airport transfer bus.

We’ve disembarked from the aircraft and we’re sitting and waiting to leave for the terminal.

Which airport, exactly? Hmmm. Paris Orly (this was pre-CDG) or possibly Geneva? Rings a vague bell, so maybe. But not sure. 

Going somewhere, obviously, but can’t recall where.

Actually, it doesn’t really matter. 

I am about 14 or 15 — give or take a year. We’re sitting in our customary silence, and the bus is mostly empty. About three rows in front of us is a man, sitting on his own. He’s neither young nor old nor special in any particular way, and all I can see of him is the back of his head.

But as we sit and wait — a matter of minutes — I am suddenly aware of this utterly bizarre connection evolving with this man. Nothing sexual about it at all; this was pure energy. Something was linking me straight into this total stranger’s energy field and it was transfixing, euphoric, uncomfortable, scary, and left my world tilted just a little bit on its axis.

I wasn’t seeing inside his head, or anything tangible like that. I was just locked into this extreme exchange of energy which froze time and space for as long as it took to get to the terminal.

As we headed for baggage reclaim, I tried ever so hard to see where he went, but he soon vanished and that was the first and last I ever saw of him. Which of course was exactly as it had to be: what would I have done if I’d chased him down? Said: ‘Man, did you feel that too?’ 

I don’t think so. 

My mother knew nothing of this, either at the time or at any time: in last year’s challenge I delved into my atheist upbringing and I can guarantee she would have dismissed this as adolescent fantasy. Which, to be fair, I went on to do quite a bit myself simply because it appeared inexplicable and I’d been thoroughly discouraged from getting too cosy with the inexplicable.

But there it was, and here it is, and once things began tilting that day they never quite shifted back. 

Image: Nejron Photo at Shutterstock