Behind the façade

It is quite amazing how many times — wholly insignificant as I am — my path has crossed with those of the celebrities of community. Every now and then I am reminded of that happenstance, when my usually inconsequential website suddenly receives a massive spike in traffic, the average of five daily views suddenly multiplied twenty fold. What is it today, that causes a hundred to descend on my site from all over? Reflections on moments shared with infamous folk too numerous to count, in the dim and distant past?

How peculiar that some go out of their way to establish extraordinary followings on social media in pursuit of their brush with fame, whereas I just happened to find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately for me, none of these great men remember me, or if they do, only as the misguided soul who turned up to pick up the eminent intellectual from the airport in a battered old three-door banger; as that expendable character unreliable for his accidental role in a minor failed coup to wrest control of a university Islamic Society; or as the convenient generic white Muslim held responsible for the poor advice proffered by others of his melanin deficient brethren.

Mindful of our crossed paths, I sometimes wonder if I am just a participant in a poorly-constructed VR simulation, the characters of my youth recycled in a new radio-phone-in module, belatedly deployed by agile developers as they roll out new features which they never bother to properly test. But then I remember, I am just living in an echo chamber.

To the outside world, these famous people are mere nobodies like me. Yes, they may cause a momentary spike in traffic to my website every now and then, but in the greater scheme of things, they are really just as insignificant as this nonentity behind the keyboard. It’s just that they have more groupies, fan clubs and followings, though as everyone knows, it’s quality that counts not quantity. So here’s to the footnotes of history who get to see the realities behind the public façade celebrated all around.

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