The other sixteen of our group had got to the tea parlour at Gilbert White’s house in Selborne, Hampshire. before us and had been served their cuppas, coffees and cakes. As the three of us came in, the waitress, probably keen to sit us near our friends, asked “Are you the same people?”. My head whirled . . .
“Are you the same people?”, the waitress enquired
As we entered the café for tea.
“Well, I’m always changing,” I thought to myself,
“Today’s me’s not yesterday’s me”.
But maybe she meant: “Are you nineteen the same?”.
Could she see an invisible glue
That made us a single, biological being,
With multiple bodies on view?
Could she sense how all things are connected?
Can she tell what will be on the news?
And has she already precisely foreseen
The beverages that we’ll choose?
What mystical talents this waitress must have.
I wonder what else she can ‘see’ –
Molecules, atoms, Higgs bosons, perhaps?
She’s wasted, just dishing up tea.
We sit down, confused and excited.
One says, “Yes”, one says “No – well, maybe . . .”,
But I can’t come up with an answer.
Existentially baffled, that’s me.
(See also Hello, what are you doing?)