On my way down the shuttle escalator, listening to a classic song by a rock band from old Earth called Pink Floyd. The song was Echoes. An ethereal melody that had a way of swaying me and making me reach deep within the realms of the collective unconscious, or put another way, it was a trippy song. I was particularly fond of the lyrics, which I considered to be a haunting masterpiece.
Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant time comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine
I have attached a copy of the song to this transmission for your listening pleasure. To really get the feel for it, you need to listen to it in the right frame of mind. Just imagine what it was like being back on the home planet three thousand years ago.
Whenever I listen to Echoes, I grow relaxed and spaced out. It hypnotizes me and takes me to that distant time that comes willowing across the sand.
As I was gliding down the escalator in this mellowed out state, one of my favorite parts of the song started playing. At that precise moment, I lifted my head (or was it lifted for me?), and there I saw a girl glancing back at me. She also had a dreamy look in her eyes, as if lost in some inner scape. Neither one of us blinked. Her arm casually moved over the handrail. I followed her lead. We held our breath, suspended in the soft tenderness. Our fingers caressed lightly as we glided by. We held our steady gaze, and for a blissful moment, we floated in a place of infinite possibilities.
When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned and looked up the escalator.
She was standing there looking back at me.
Her name was Emmy.
Later at the Cafe, I asked her what music she had been listening to while going up the escalator.
"Pink Floyd," she said, "You know of them? They're from Earth."
"Amazing! I was just listening to them too. A song called Echoes."
"What a coincidence!" she said. "It was so strange. I was listening to my favorite part, when I felt something and just had to look up. And there you were glancing back at me."
"That's exactly what happened to me too," I said.
"Get out! Now you're messing with me."
"I'm not kidding, let me show you. This is my favorite part." I sent her the song snippet.
Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you
And what I see is me
She stopped smiling, and her lips trembled.
Hesitant to speak, she finally said, "that's my favorite part, and it was also playing as I was going up the stairs. What does it mean?"
I could have shrugged it off with a joke and told her it didn't mean anything, but instead I remained silent. In that silence was the frank admission that I didn't know the wheres or whys.
We could barely meet each other's gaze. Instead, we drank from our cups and stared out the window at the red Martian landscape.
Fate was one thing, but synchronicity was quite another.
We made small talk, but the lines had gone down, and we couldn't reestablish the connection. Nervous smiles. We had stepped over a strange boundary, and now we recoiled back in fear and surprise. Afraid perhaps to hold each other's hands and lead ourselves through that strange land.
I think about Emmy now and then, but with each passing cycle, her image fades like echoes from a distant time.
Echoes by Pink Floyd via Youtube