I was reading about synchronicity the other night and The Enigma of the Search in liminal moments where I was getting ready to sleep or waiting for an hour to pass. I have experienced synchronicity in my life and have seen that extra dose of ain’t-this-cool that such events can bring. Earlier this week I had my mind set upon obtaining this Criterion DVD box set but didn’t follow through with my intention because the price wasn’t right. I told a friend about it and minutes later, he told me that Criterion as having a 50% flash sale for twenty-four hours and the promo code was LOVE.
Fast-forward to today. I recounted what happened on my bookface and am copying and pasting it here:
There’s an adage about man making plans and transcendent entities just laughing. I made plans today to go to the Funwoody Barnes & Noble to get my morning caffeine fix and Mary Roach’s book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War* followed by an oil change (and more). Well, I got to Barnes & Noble at 8:52 am, not realizing that they didn’t open until 9 am. Because I didn’t want to wait nine minutes for the doors to open, I went to a nearby Starbux for a soy latte. As I was headed back to my car, I heard a man’s voice coming from my left.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Do you have a dollar?”
I’d noticed this man earlier but didn’t think more if it. He wore all black and was bundled up like any cold temperature morning. I walked closer to him and asked if he wanted an almond croissant (which I got from Starbux in addition to the latte). He thanked me but declined as his hunger was focused on grits. I gave him a dollar, remarked that it was a good and sunny day not windy like yesterday, and told him to have a good day. He responded with appreciation and noted that I was a beautiful woman…presumably for not ignoring him and not giving him the stink-eye.
Normally, I ignore questions people ask me when I’m going back to my car (unless they’re about directions or the time). I didn’t ignore this question, though. Had my morning gone as I’d “planned,” I wouldn’t have had this experience.
Oh, and no oil change today because I have to get a timing cover oil leak fixed and there’s no sense and getting two oil changes in less than a week.
It occurred to me that there was an amount of “pre-production” that had to happen in order for me to have had that experience. The book I wanted was supposed to be available at the Buckhead B&N, which it wasn’t when I went there on Thursday. They told me the Perimeter and the Forum locations had it. Thus, my trip to the Perimeter this morning. And, I typically get Saturday soy lattes from a specific Starbux and I didn’t do it this morning because I figured, “going to B&N, might as well get it there.” I ended up getting the book at the Forum.
I also picked up Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016) on DVD. I’ve thought about my actions from this morning and have only come up with this “reason” for why I didn’t ignore the man. It would have been rude not to acknowledge him — practically, I was the only other person around at that moment. It would have been so obvious to him that I was choosing to pretend he wasn’t there. It would have made me feel bad and ashamed. I wasn’t “thinking” any of this stuff, but a part of me knew it.
Hearing that question, “Do you have a dollar?” was like being on a stage with a spotlight shining straight into my face. I’ve lived my entire life doing everything I can to be backstage or in the audience — never on the stage. I won’t shy away from other audience members or crew members off-stage, but I have tried to hide myself in other capacities. In that moment, the universe had seen me and I couldn’t make myself blend in with my surroundings or distract it with tales of absurdity or morbidness.
Instead of wondering if I’d passed the test, I’d like to know, well, what next?
*I saw the book mentioned on this Reddit thread.