Six degrees of separation

I’m watching one of those investigative programmes on American television at the moment, testing out the whole six degrees of separation theory. As it turns out, both their local and international experiments do average out at about 6 connections, and in the same city it can be reduced to four.

For us folks who grew up on a small island, how many people do you think it takes? Two? Three? I can’t imagine it would be more than that.

These hidden connections between people are both reassuring and disconcerting in our little island roosts. In a way, everyone in Trinidad (where I live) is like an extended family. Of course, like any family, there are dramas and cat fights and rivalries. But I digress.

I had to marvel the other day. I showed up at a performance with a friend I hadn’t known long, only to find that her compere was drumming, while my macomere sang, and that the girl to whom she’d given my number for a music teacher reference was dancing. And said girl was actually someone I’d gone to primary school with before she’d emigrated to Canada, and who I hadn’t seen in a decade or two. But now she’s back. And looking for a music teacher. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Perhaps it’s just another reason to practise what religions worldwide always tell (warn) us, believers, agnostics and atheists alike: love thy neighbour, we are all one, etc etc. Ohm. Because if nothing else, that person you threw a Carib on at that party when she was trying to wine on your man in de dance could turn out to be the sister of your landlord who then refuses to fix your plumbing so that your shower leaks on to the downstairs apartment of the woman who’s actually your mother’s hairdresser… And if nuttin’ else, yuh business out.

So smile. Stay sweet. Watch yuh mout’. And save the Carib-dousing for extra special occasions. 🙂

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