“Do you believe in coincidences?”
I had to ask. This thing has been eating away at me. This–this whatever it was; occurrence? Event? Happening… Coincidences, to me, were nothing more than a series of unrelated events coming together in a way that made optimistic people giddy. They would pick out numbers or words or seasons to connect things that, in reality, didn’t need to be connected. Coincidences are–were–nothing more than a hopeful human construct developed to create some sense of safety in a world that consistently betrays it’s dwellers. Not unlike religion. Not unlike dreaming; the night or daytime variety alike. To me anyway.
I used to get in these heated arguments at parties.
At parties, at dinners, at bus stops. Pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Infantile optimism or even general naivety is–was–one of my greatest pet peeves. I can’t–couldn’t–understand how people could just be so blatantly dumb. So attached to this grand idea outside of themselves they would literally grasp at straws to draw connections from one mundane thing to another. Just to feel a sense of purpose. To feel like there was more to living than actually just simply living.
I hate to admit this now, but…
I used to feel sorry for people. Sorry for them but also pity them. People who need to latch onto something greater than themselves in order to exist. Okay, if I am being completely honest, I used to judge them. I used to think I was far superior to people like that. I guess I–I sought them out. I loved that sense of righteousness I felt. And I guess, in retrospect, the truth of the matter was I needed that sense of power as much as they needed that sense of connectivity.
It makes me howl now, thinking about it.
Thinking how deluded I was. Thinking how close I was to the very thing I abhorred. The very thing I was circling around, the thing I was so connected to, without even realizing it. If I had asked one of my friends this same question they would run. Run or duck. They would have seen it as a trick. They would never have answered.
He, on the other hand, just stares.
There is a radiant glimmer in his eyes as if there is so much more to the story. So much more that I can’t see. So much more brimming just beneath the surface of his skin. He doesn’t blink, he doesn’t break eye-contact. My words linger in the small space between us. Hovering in the air like fog. He won’t answer in words. He doesn’t need to. His eyes say it all, the corners of his lips, the tilt of his head. The heat in his hands.
When I really look at it. That word is just that. But what writhes within that word. The truth, the experience of it. I see it now. Feel it. Know it. I see I was the naive one. Privately judging the world around me, when I was the one who should have been judged. No, not judged. Pitied. Because the thing beyond the word is inexplicable. Ineffable. But it is real. It is, it’s the only way to explain what happened. How I came to be sitting across from this man who I should never have met. This man I already know. And somehow, somewhere deep inside of me, already love. That I have loved. I suppose coincidence is magic and when it hits you, like it did me, it’s undeniable. And it’s–it’s beautiful.
At least I think.
At least that is what I feel. And you can’t deny feelings right? Right. But see here’s the problem with that. With trusting feelings. Something about this feels wrong. Something about this terrifies me to the core of my being and I don’t just think it’s the fact I am opening up to the comprehension of the very thing I hate–hated. No, it’s more than that. Because this sickening feeling, this dread, isn’t coming from inside of me. Not in the way bad feelings seed inside your gut.
It’s not like that and I know it because…
This bad feeling is coming from the little black dots around the edge of his left iris. From the texture of his skin. The angle of his smile. The way the air between us is making me dizzy. Dizzy like I’ve sipped on poison.
I might be wrong. I want to be wrong. Because this coincidence. Us meeting. Us, here, now. The how of it all. It can’t be bad… Can it?