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Moments Of Questionable Coincidence

By September 29, 2010 March 3rd, 2013 Personal Stories, Recommendations

Over the last two years, I’ve found myself in numerous situations where I’m minding my own business, and something unexpected occurs. I will describe these below, as the possible explanations are intriguing.

Photo by caribb

The first experience I will describe occurred on a day where I needed to head straight from work to the bank. They had received a card in my name, and I needed to pick it up. After the pick-up, my plan was to head back into the city, as I had plans to watch a movie with friends. I was using Montreal’s metro system to get these tasks done, as I always do. When I left the metro, and began walking towards my bank, a strange thought popped into my head: Maybe I should call Dad for a lift.

Now, to better put this into perspective, you should know that I’ve had my own place for 5 years. Due to the convenience of the metro system, I don’t need to drive. Sometimes, I do get lifts from people; however, those occasions must be appropriate. I won’t call someone strictly to abuse of their lift-giving generosity. The situation I’m describing is a perfect example of an inappropriate moment. For one, my parents live fairly close to the bank I’m describing. In fact, so do I. There isn’t much point in me asking for a lift, because the bank isn’t that far to begin with. Next, you should know that I don’t commonly ask anything of my father. It’s just not something I do, so the idea of calling him to help me seemed a bit weird, especially given how ordinary my plans were. Everything was going according to plan, and I was doing everything independently, as I always do. So, given how abnormal this thought was, I ignored it, and just kept walking towards the bank, which is part of a mall. Once I arrived at the mall… to my disbelief, I noticed a familiar car driving past me. My father’s car. Though confused, I managed to get his attention, and he stopped the car. He just-so-happened to be at the mall, and offered to drive me back to the metro station after I stopped by the bank. I accepted, and proceeded by entering the bank – only to realize that they wanted more ID than I had anticipated. Had it occurred without the presence of my father, I wouldn’t have been able to get my card. He drove me to my place, where I retrieved the additional ID requested, and with it, I was able to return to complete my bank transaction, without being late for the movie. Had I not encountered my father, I would have likely been late… the ID mix-up meant dealing with transport all over again.

Photo by David Bleasdale

The next experience occurred while I was preparing for my Dragon*Con 2010 trip. I went for a last minute shopping spree, and again, while walking to the same mall, an uncommon thought came to me. Maybe I should call dad, he may have some shopping to do too. Bizarre. I never invite anyone to go shopping with me while en route, I just go stick to the original plan. So, much like the previous story, as I was doing my rounds within the mall, I just-so-happened to bump into my father. He was there for a massage, and after he was done – he met up with me. Once again, the idea that popped into my head was not normal. It isn’t something I would normally think of. Yet, it materialized, despite the fact that I ignored it originally.

Photo by Amy Qualls-McClure

At Dragon*Con 2010, I attended as many Battlestar Galactica panels as I could. On the night of the third day, I attended a panel that was lead by a few enthusiasts. No one there had actually worked on the show, but it was still interesting to discuss theories about what happened in the storyline. A few audience members spoke up, including myself. One particular audience member stood out to me. He seemed particularly well spoken, and had intelligent contributions to the group dialogue. After hearing one of his theories, one of the panel members jokingly said: “You must be a writer”, to which he acknowledged he actually was. Soon after, I made a mental note to ask him about his work. After the panel, I waited outside the room, chatting with my sister. Since he seemed to be taking some time to speak to the panel members, I eventually left. After all, there was no specific reason to speak to him. I was just curious about what kind of work he produced.

The next day, my sister and I decided to attend another Battlestar Galactica panel. This one was taking place in a large ballroom, the one they used when some big names were going to be part of the panel. By large, I mean a 25,000 square foot ballroom. We arrived a few minutes late, and so most of the seats were taken. I spotted and approached some available seats to the front left of the room, and guess who was seated at the head of the row? The writer from the night before. I wasn’t surprised, given my previous experiences, but did appreciate the humor. I saw it was an amusing inevitability – these things just seem to occur. The writer’s name, by the way, turned out to be Peter Ristuccia. I’ve been reading his blog on a regular basis, and I recommend it.

Photo by chiaralily

Lastly, I’m going to mention a dream. Without going into excessive detail, in this dream, I was in the middle of a large scale natural disaster, a flood. After evading numerous threats, I eventually found myself among fellow survivors. I remember experiencing a solemn feeling of accomplishment, as I looked around at the others. From my left approached a familiar face – we’ll call him Kevin. His words to me were simple in their honesty: It is good to see you, my friend. After waking from the dream, I found it interesting that Kevin had appeared to me. It had been more than a year since I’d seen him in person. He was an old college acquaintance of mine, and while we got along, we rarely saw each other.

A few days after that, I left work during lunch to go to a dentist appointment. After the appointment, I proceeded to walk back to the office, around which I usually have lunch. At one particular street corner, I was surprised to be approached by an individual, who walked over to me from the left. It was Kevin. Thankfully, he didn’t say exactly what he said in my dream. That would have seriously shaken up my sense of what was real, and what wasn’t.

Now that you’ve read the above, there is something I’d like to emphasize: at the end of the day, I’m a developer. I believe in logic, first and foremost. Still, I have to acknowledge that these scenarios are odd, almost defying logic.  Are these occurrences simply the result of coincidence, or is there more to it? I’m intrigued, to say the least.
UPDATE: Synchronicity.