Coincidence

[A repeat from August 2, 2013]  You meet someone you know in a faraway place. Wow! What a coincidence. You run across someone that shares your name. Whoa! 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.  So – I’ll go to the opera.  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.  The sages of the ages seemed to nod in somber agreement.  Just as I was about to turn around and leave, 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 was 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. . . .