Nature designed us to touch, see, smell and listen to the world full of objects and sounds and scents and sights. When the animals we now know as people learned to talk something strange happened. Touch and smell and sight could all be made out of sounds and when we learned to write and read all that again could be magicked into symbols available to sight.
And now our fingers dance on keyboards to transform ourselves into digits to fly through wires and space and bounce up and down to and from orbiting satellites and our little screens transmogrify all this electronic jiggling back into people. But how can we be sure that there were real people at the beginning of the process. As the old New Yorker cartoon suggested, nobody on the Internet knows you’re a dog.
So when a real person turns up in Helsinki proclaiming itself Wendy Orange I was a bit taken aback that it was not a dog with no guarantee it was not a secret assassin from Mossad bent on “accidentally” brushing me with a sharp pseudo-fingernail loaded with anthrax or Ebola for my open criticism of the current Israeli regime for its Palestinian policies. One never knows about these things although my experience has indicated that dogs are far more trustworthy than people. Then again, she was wearing dark glasses like those men in black and a flash from her pocket flashlight could wipe my mind clean of all negative attitudes on Israel. Paranoia ran rife though my nervous system evoking extra-terrestrial aliens and large strange dogs cleverly transformed into faux humans with flexible plastic overlays and intensive training in walking on two legs with a tail ingeniously strapped down under a belly-band.
But reality intruded and it produced a fellow New Yorker with common memories of the old city and I ended up blabbing for hours on my random ramblings over all sorts of things and life in general and both the talk and the weather was most accommodating and Helsinki behaved itself uncommonly well.
The open market at the seaside full of the splendors of glowing vegetables and tempting slabs of salmon and other ocean goodies provided us with coffee and the cries of sailing seagulls and a bit of action from strutting pigeons nipping in and out amongst the tables cleaning up crumbs and cocking their heads in appeals for donations.
We are, now, confirmed friendly humans confident we are both human and vulnerable and delighted with each other.