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There’s not much these three things have in common. Not directly anyway. I don’t own a ferret. I never did. But a friend of a friend did. Two, actually, if I remember correctly. I remember visiting once, and being told “Check your shoes when you leave. They like to sleep in shoes.”

At that time in my life, academics and studying consumed the majority of my time. I didn’t go out much – which didn’t bother me much. I had “clumps” of friends – as different from each other as dusk, dark, daybreak and day. One was a small group of friends – people I hung out with on more of a casual than a social basis. I was getting restless and bored – I was due for a change. I’d been invited out with this group before, but had always declined. However, this particular evening, I was in the mental mood for something different. And different is what it was. It was like someone was holding a mirror up to my life and everything was happening backwards. If it had been an aerial view, it would have been 180 degrees off course.

We went to places I didn’t normally go. I met people I wouldn’t normally meet. I think I drank too much. Much of the detail of that night and the next morning are dim. Foggy. There are fragments which are tucked away just below the surface – little pieces that connect somehow – a seemingly unrelated collection of emotional moments as varied in intensity as Freddy and the boys belting out “Bohemian Rhapsody”. And I met a forgotten friend. Time has passed. Names and faces have gently faded. But I clearly remember making an odd emotional connection with someone. Perhaps his life had a mirror held up to it at the same time. I don’t know why we didn’t keep in touch. We should have. So somewhere out there, I have a forgotten friend. Perhaps one day we’ll bump into each other again. Would we even know it if we did? I’d like to think so.

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