I was writing the other day, and typed the term, ‘perfect stranger’. In my mind I was describing someone who was a complete ‘unknown’. Never been seen before. But then the cogs began to turn, and I started wondering if a stranger could be even more perfect than someone you had never met before.
How about something along these lines? A person you’ve had an intimate, trusting, long-standing relationship with, reveals that they are not the person you thought you knew. Unrecognisable behaviour, an announcement that flies in the face of all previously held principles, an unforeseen capacity for courage, an unexpected betrayal, a surprising feat of endurance, a hidden nous for enterprise, a selfless undertaking, the ultimate sacrifice.
Isn’t it possible that the most perfect stranger might be someone whose sharp and shocking form suddenly emerges like an abstract sculpture from what we’ve come to regard as customary.
Perhaps, more often than we think, the greatest ‘unknown’ in a person resides beneath the layers of familiarity we pile on, in an effort to forge a shape we can love or live with.
This is precisely the kind of distraction I’m up against, when writing. Anyone else?