I wrote a long piece about unexpected happenings, pressed the wrong key and deleted it entirely. Before I recanted I pressed another key and then another and lost it all.
I wrote about the email I received from someone I last talked to thirty years ago. Her memories and mine differed. She recalled small things about me--or the persona she once knew.
We met at a Feminist Writer's Workshop. I drove up from Boston and she flew in from Rome. I wanted to be with a group of women who wrote passionately and she wanted to be with a group of women who were passionate.
I wrote poem after poem and listened to women write about everything from menstrual cramps to childbirth.
One woman raised sheep in Utah, another worked in a publishing house in New York City, and another smoked pot and worked as a reporter on a small rural newspaper. We came from all over. In the evening we sat and listened to what we wrote that day.
She was flying in from Rome for a conference and wanted to meet for dinner. We arranged to meet for lunch instead. She recalled my love of mountains and walking along beaches. I recalled her telling me that it was important to put moisturizer on your heels so that when you grew old your heels would still be soft.
Last week I sat and read in my favorite coffee shop. I heard that an hour earlier two regulars were to meet their son, only son, for coffee. They ordered coffee, chatted, and waited. When they woke that morning they didn't know about an unexpected phone call. The call came between sips of hot coffee.
Their son died in an accident.
My friend went into the hospital for eight-hour surgery. The doctor spelled out all the possible scenarios—starting with not making it through the surgery, days in ICU, a week in the hospital, possible rehab.
Instead she went home in four days. "Everything," the doctor said, "that could go well went well."
Going home so soon —unexpected.
A religious friend of mine doesn't believe in coincidences. If something happens once or twice it may be a coincidence, but when it happens three times the source is elsewhere.
Chance, if you left ten minutes later, ten minutes earlier, turned left instead of right.
the throw of the dice,
of skeins of yarn ready for winding.