the kidlington visitors
This was my favourite mystery–apart, perhaps, from amputated feet in running shoes washed up on some beach in the Americas–until solutions clustered round like flies and obscured the mystery itself. That people should arrive constantly out of nowhere to take selfies in a pleasant but unexceptional little suburban street. That they should be well-dressed & clearly enjoying their exotic visit. That no one should be able to identify their language, or speak it well enough to ask them why they came. That reports should differ, rumours compound. That it should be a slow, long-running thing. That initially no one seemed puzzled enough, & nothing about it seemed urgent enough to attract media. The moment we try to interact with an event like this by making sense of it, it’s gone. Vanished. Why don’t we see? The moment you explain a situation it’s something else. The actual thing, the thing that happened, retreats shyly and vanishes, decohering into the classical discourse that now stands in for it, and for every other object or event farmed & corralled into reliable useful behaviour by human anxiety. We have our explanation but we spoiled our mystery. It’s just not worth it to know.