What goes around comes around

I have often heard people say this but I have no idea what it means, though the events of the last few weeks may illustrate it.

Three weeks ago, despite my usual precautions, I lost my bus pass. The next day I found that someone had posted it through the letterbox.The pass has no address on it, but it does have a mugshot straight out of the Police Gazette, so I had to assume that whoever posted it had recognised me.

Two days after that, I was leaving the recycling point when I met a woman who smiled and asked if I’d got my pass. I didn’t recognise her and wasn’t sure how she recognised me. And having recognised me, how did she know where I lived? (We live in a farmhouse which is relatively secluded.) I was so grateful I might have hugged her, but she was saved from this fate by the bag of shopping she had in each hand. A wise precaution on her part.

Today I was returning from my daughter’s apartment when I saw a young woman opening the door to a block of student flats. She dropped her purse on the pavement. I tried to return it but was baulked by the Entryphone security system.

When I finally got someone to open the door, she was Chinese. Do you know Rhea Fitzwilliam, I asked, in my best Cantonese? (We don’t have a Confucius Institute here for nothing.) She did not. But when I flipped open the wallet and showed her Rhea’s photograph she recognised her at once.

So this is the way I see it. Miss Fitzwilliam is now under an obligation to find a missing document and connect it with its owner. Isn’t that how it works? We impose significance wherever we can.


9 thoughts on “What goes around comes around

  1. I lost my glassses once when knocked down by a large wave close to the beach on Indonesia’s island of Lombok. Lombok is a large vulcano and the beaches bank down steeply into the ocean. Within a few metres of the beach you cannot stand up in the water anymore. I assumed my spectacles would gently roll down to the depth of the sea.
    Next morning my wife and I went for a walk along this beach and I found my glasses washed up on the sand.
    The sea had returned my glasses.

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