You meet someone you know in a faraway place. Wow! What a coincidence. You meet someone that has your name. Wow! What a coincidence. We’ve all had that moment of coincidence when we slap our forehead and go “that’s pretty cool.”
I’ve had my share of coincidences but none more profound than happened when I was dating this girl I’d met on a blind date. Donna. I was in law school and she in grad school. Donna had a subscription to the Lyric Opera. One seat in the upper balcony. I asked her where she sat. “Maybe I’ll come join you one of these evenings” I offered. She handed me an old ticket stub and I stuck it in my pocket. A few weeks later, a night class was canceled and I had the evening off. I thought tonight’s Donna’s opera night. I’ll go to the opera. So I walked over to the Lyric’s box office and was directed to the 7th floor (as I recall) where there was a ticket office. I pulled out the dog-eared ticket stub and handed it to the woman behind the counter. “I’d like to get the seat next to this one for tonight.” The woman looked at me like I was an idiot. “Sir, tonight is Rigoletto. We’ve been sold out for six months. And we have a loooong waiting list.” At that moment, the stars and planets fell into alignment. All of the sages of the ages seemed to nod in somber agreement. At that very moment as I was about to turn away, a woman walked from behind a partition and said “here’s a cancellation.” And handed the woman I’d been talking to a piece of paper. The woman looked at it. And then at my ticket stub. “Oh my. . . .” was about all she could say. The cancellation happened to be precisely, exactly, the seat next to Donna’s seat.
The woman looked at me. “I know we have a waiting list but I’m not sure I could give this to anyone else. . . under the circumstances.” And she sold me the ticket for Rigoletto. I arrived late. The lights were out. And I sat down, waited a brief moment and grabbed her leg. She jumped and let out a whoop like Gilda, the soprano. And the rest – as they say – is history. What a coincidence. . . .