“Serendipity is when you find things you weren’t looking for because finding what you are looking for is so damned difficult.” – Erin Mckean
Knuckles whitened, I almost met my maker. I don’t know who my maker is, or if it is indeed a ‘who’ but maybe some type of metaphysical ‘what’, but until I actually meet my maker, I can only wax poetic on the precise nature of my maker. It was a close call. Many of us have experienced ‘close calls’ and ‘near misses’. I drive a Jeep. I am not the most responsible vehicle owner out there. In other ways, I think of myself as reasonably responsible. I am not a perfect man. I am not Adonis. I am just a guy who needs a vehicle to get him from Point A to Point B. For the past few winters my Jeep has been handling a little sketchy. The back end would get away from me on snow even at very low speeds. After almost meeting my maker on a snow packed stretch of desolate highway, I finally decided to replace the all season tires from 2010. Maybe this would help.
I made the drive back into town the next day. It was sunny and cold and the highways were bone dry. I saw this as a window of opportunity to deal with my tires in a safe and responsible manner. I drove to a large national box store named after tires and our country, but they ironically had none in the actual store but could order some and have them installed in a week or so. They’d run about $140.00 each. Looking outside, the sun had fallen out of the sky – plummeted. Just like that! It was now snowing heavily. Damn weather. I needed confidence in my wheels, flashing back to that time when I almost met my maker. I asked where else I could get winter tires, and they recommended a few places. Okay. I hit up the first two on the list, but I seem to have been plagued with wonky-sized tires, so neither place had any in stock, but could order them in. Damn. No good. I was starting to panic. It was at the 3rd place where my misfortunes changed quite serendipitously. The pop-in began with that familiar news – “none in stock”. I left with my head hung low and my pants drooping (my pants always droop, so really this has nothing to do with anything and I guess you could probably ignore that). It was while I was actually spinning in the parking lot trying to coax the Jeep up the slight incline to the highway that the tire man was able to catch up to me, knock on the window (scaring me) and tell me that they did have some that they had found for me in the back and, they were “smoking cheap” as tire buying season was pretty well over. $105 a tire. Nice. They could install them right there and then. Nice. So, it was only because my tires were so bad in the first place, causing me to spin and spin while trying to leave the tire place, that it gave the tire guy enough time to run out of the tire place and catch me before I would have been eventually able to inch my way out to the highway through backing up a little and then going forward a little (repeat many times) that this all happened. Serendipity.
And then there’ this . . .
Over this past Christmas I dropped off a package for someone at her mother’s home. This person was actually living away attending school but was going to be home over the holidays with her mother, so the package was actually a present. When I drove in there were no vehicles in the drive and no lights were on. There was no evidence of any human activity. Clearly no one was home, so I left the package on a bench just inside a screened in porch-type set up. I left a note. A day or so later I messaged her to ask whether she received the package as I had heard nothing back. She said “no”. I told her I left it on a little bench in that screened in porch-type set up. She told me her mother moved two years ago. Damn. I asked who lived there now. She had no idea, but seemed thrilled that I had butchered this whole thing. She called her mom to get the name of the woman who bought her house two years ago and then got back to me with a name that I only vaguely recognized. It was getting too complicated. I resigned myself to accepting that this present would just be a write-off. I told her it was DVD of the first two seasons of Check It Out with Dr. Steve Brule. I guess I could have lied and said it was something way more expensive. It’s a good thing I didn’t.
The following day (on my brand new tires), I went out for lunch with my son, Lurch. We originally decided on one place, but after getting there a sign on the door informed all that they were closing at 2 pm as this was New Year’s eve. It was 1:50. Damn. So we went to another diner. It was open, and would remain so until 6:00. Nice. We chose a booth under a stuffed beaver and waited for our waitress. After a moment of us settling and playing with the plastic creamers, a woman looking vaguely familiar came to us with a coffee pot and menus. I knew her from somewhere. She looks at me and says: “Hey, are you Kevin?” I never know how to answer this as the answer depends on so many things. I moved my head a little bit in an up and down motion. It was clearly a very non-committal type nod. “Did you leave a present on my bench?” Nice.