Please be assured that I am not mocking this person at all. Seriously, I’m not. I have an awful lot of sympathy for her.

I overheard a woman taking a phone call in the library. It was an extremely disjointed conversation.

She opened up with the failure of Air Traffic Control at Gatwick and Heathrow. This was a bit odd, because the systems haven’t had a major problem since 2014. I checked. Odder still was that she thought this was a danger to her this very day.

Then she meandered off to recent reports in the Sun featuring the number 47. These, she insisted, were references and threat to her and her family. The number then somehow led her to Timothy Olliphant in Die Hard 4.0. I was intrigued but lost by now. He’s out to get her for some reason.

Apparently as she came into the library, she’d seen one of the Lemony Snickett books. This had disturbed her, since the film had been made specifically as a threat to her, as had Mission Impossible II and indeed every film she has seen recently ‘It can’t be a coincidence, can it?’ she asked of her listener. She also saw a book with snow on the cover illustration, and this ‘links’ to her Snowflake Project, whatever that might be.

Then there is the weather. It’s pouring with rain here (because it’s June in England, and that’s what it does) but she felt that this too was a direct threat to her. I don’t know who was on the other end of the phone, but from this end I got, ‘Any decent wizard can control the weather anyway…’

Russian submarines in the English Channel got a mention. For some reason this convinced her that ‘he’, whoever ‘he’ might be, was intending to time travel back to come and get her.

She also expressed concerns about the layout of the Control Panel on the public access computer she was using.

Now you may have reached the conclusion that this woman has a tenuous grip on reality, and is a paranoid conspiracy theorist. However, think again, please.

This is the reality of her world. These are thoughts and feelings and beliefs she has to face every day of her life. She believes there specific threats to her programmed into Windows, in computer crashes miles away from her, Russian submarines, Hollywood, a time travelling wizard.

That’s a tricky way to live your life, isn’t it?

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