Coincidence vs. Just...Incidence

I’ve been thinking a lot about coincidences lately. Like what does it mean to run into the same person twice out of 8.5 million people who share the city with me and what are the chances of meeting that person who knows this person who is having sex with that person’s best friend? Is there an honest explanation to this of all or am I reading way too far into it…

I look for meaning in a lot of things. I believe that there is something in the reoccurrence of specific numbers, symbols and people. This makes me a “deeply poetic” person. All I have to do is put in my earphones, play my Own Thoughts Spotify playlist and suddenly I feel like I’m about to come to a huge realisation as to what the meaning of life is and decide to cut my hair and throw out my clothes. Seriously, it’s a problem – I can get so fucking poetic sometimes I could throw up.

There is this park that I love on the edge of the river overlooking the Manhattan skyline, off the Bedford Ave stop. I went there today and sat on the rocks. It’s a really gloomy day today so the city was covered in a haze of fog. I sat there alone and stared out at the city. I was listening to Nick Drake and it was a really beautiful moment and all I could think about was how I felt like I was in a goddamn fucking film. I got really annoyed because I realised that I can’t even sit on the side of a river alone without feeling like there should be some kind of “meaning” to this all, like at any moment, I was about to have a massive breakthrough as to who I am. I started to write in my journal and then… it started to fucking rain. Drops of water fell onto the ink on the page and formed black circles. Are you kidding me? I thought to myself. I couldn’t help but cringe at how ridiculously poetic this all seemed, but how insignificant this event was so I left the park.

I’ve been trying to tell myself that things can happen without having any meaning and that maybe coincidences happen because life just feels like fucking with you to see how you react… or maybe it has everything to do with geography, interests and social sphere. No… There has to be something in it... Wait… Fuck!

I keep thinking about that part of the song by The xx that goes, “The stars and the charts and the cards make sense only when we want them to” because it’s so true. Here is an anecdote as to why I believe this...

The other day I was on the subway on my way to a bar near mine in Brooklyn to have a solo drink after being out in Manhattan for St. Patrick’s Day. I was hoping that the regular bar attender, Johnny was there because he’s really friendly. I sat next to this guy on the subway who acknowledged as attractive, but not really my type. He was wearing a burgundy beanie that I didn’t really like. I saw that he was listening to Redbone by Childish Gambino and I thought to myself, I haven’t listened to that song in ages, so I decided to put it on as well. I tapped my foot and wondered what part of the song he was up to. We both got off at the same stop and I didn’t think anything of him, so I ran away up the stairs onto the street and forgot about him the second my face hit the cold air. I said hello to Johnny and ordered my gin & tonic. About 10 minutes later, the same guy that I sat next to on the subway came in and sat down next to me. Before I could speak, he beat me and said, “Hey, I was sitting next to you on the subway.” He made a joke about me stalking him but I quickly dominated him by the fact that I was in this bar first. We talked a lot and I went back to his and that’s where I will end this part of the story. 5 days later I sat next to him again on the subway without knowing. It wasn’t until he texted me when I got off that I realized this. The reason why I am telling you this story is because anyone could read into these chance encounters heavily if they wanted to, especially me, but because I wasn’t whipped on him, I didn’t think a lot of it.

Now before I explain, I want to compare this anecdote with another:

There is this guy who I used to like quite a bit, but we didn’t really get a chance to get to know each other super well. A few days after we established that we were both on different wavelengths, I was making my bed to my poetic as fuck playlist and out flicked this little blue thing. I picked it up and realised it was a guitar pick. I thought for a second and worked out that it was probably his. This really frustrated me because it got me thinking about him again. I thought for a long time that this had to mean something. That this couldn’t have just been a coincidence. Turns out it didn’t mean anything and it was just that. I can laugh at it now because I threw the pick out but at the time, I read so far into it.

Going back to that quote by the xx, “The stars and the charts and the cards make sense only when we want them to” – If I had fancied the guy that I sat next to on the subway twice, I would have thought that that was just the craziest coincidence, just like if I didn’t fancy the guy who left his pick at mine, I really wouldn’t have given two shits.

So now I'm sitting on my bedroom floor, back against my bed, just like in this picture, thinking about all of the things that I have read so far into and why I do that. I think that the reason why we as humans can tend to interpret things for more than they are because we want some sort of security as to our direction in life and we want validation for our choices. I know that's why I do at least, but what's the point using our time in the present to try and figure out why something happened in the past? I think it's far more exciting to see what happens in the future!

I'm not saying that I don't believe that meaningful coincidences exist, I'm just saying that I haven't come across any yet.