John and I used to talk about ‘synchronicity’ – basically, coincidence.
Recently I keep getting synchronicities. Today at work I did a horrible thing that I had planned to do on a quiet day if possible – printed all John’s emails to me at work, so I can keep them in a file (and delete them from the system so no-one else could ever look at them). I can’t bear to read them now, I had to try and look away as I picked them off the printer, but I want them for the future, as they are at least a record of some of our interactions and conversations (as opposed to all those actual conversations that I made the mistake of never recording or videoing).
I stood protectively by the printer for ages, waiting to be challenged about what I was doing, in which case I would probably just have said, printing 8 years of emails from my husband. There were over 500 and it resulted in a massive pile of paper which I’ve brought home with me.
But the weird thing was that one of the emails that caught my eye was about the ‘Philips Building Noise’. We had a couple of periods, probably at least 5 years ago, when there was a noise pollution problem, a high pitched whine coming from a building near our house that’s been converted into flats. We had a visit from someone once but they didn’t take us seriously, because you couldn’t hear it very clearly when there was a lot of traffic noise. Anyway eventually, we ‘won’ though, because someone from the Council ended up going up on the roof of the building and actually sent us a sound recording asking if that was the noise we were on about. It turned out to be a faulty boiler, and we were so pleased when it eventually got sorted because it had been something that had depressed us.
So – today at work I come across that issue again, and tonight when I get home (with the pile of emails under my arm), guess what? For the first time in years, I can hear the Phillips Building Noise again.
“Synchronicity!” John would have said. Quite a big one, I think!
This is sort of a private horror now, when something happens which was previously an issue that you were both concerned with or talked about, but now there’s just me experiencing it – the person you used to share something with has just gone from the planet. It seems unbelievable, it was something that was so much part of our shared history. To hear the dreaded noise again and not have him here to tell about it – or about the synchronicity of having seen the emails today – is just horrible.