‘If you have a goat, you have goat problems.’
George was jolted back to the here and now by the words as they entered uninvited through his left ear. He hadn’t noticed anyone taking a seat next to him on the bench. He thought he was alone in the park. But now, as he lifted his eyes from the ground to take in his surroundings, he realised that he had been wrong. He wasn’t in a park. He was in a city square. The only thing that didn’t come as a surprise was the bench. He didn’t have time to search his memory for any clues as to how and why he’d arrived in this position; a stranger had just invaded his space. He turned his head to the left and met the eye of a man that looked noticably similar to him. This in itself was strange because people don’t tend to notice when someone else looks like them. It is other people that notice. But this guy, although visibly a few years older, perhaps early 40s, definitely bore a close resemblance. George noted that even the man’s stubble grew in the same way as his. The man didn’t say anything, although he did have a knowing smile on his face, like he knew that George was thinking, ‘This bloke looks like me.’
‘I’m sorry, mate, I didn’t hear what you said. I was in my world,’ George said.
‘No worries, I just said if you have a goat, you have goat problems.’
‘Okay. Then I did hear what you said the first time. I just thought I must have misheard.’
The man smirked, but not in a smirky way. Not everybody will understand that line. It doesn’t matter. There was silence again. George looked down and was pleased to see half a spliff had gone out in his hand while he’d been away from the physical realm. He put it between his lips and lit it, facing forward, not looking at the man that had a face like his. The air was chilly, the sky black. The man had also turned his head back towards the world.