Monday, June 18, 2012

What's Your Eerie Coincidence?

A professor at Cambridge is collecting people's experiences of coincidences that strike them as improbable, with a view to understanding these experiences better. I've submitted one, which is copied below.

In 1997 or thereabout, I was reading a science fiction magazine called Terra Incognita while on the train to a memorial for someone who'd been well known in one of my social circles, named Frank Lovell. I put the magazine away when I arrived at the venue, the Tamiment Labor Library at New York University in New York City. When it was over I left the room and walked to the elevator on the mezzanine level, that of the library. While waiting for the elevator to arrive, I resumed reading the story I was on. It was a story about someone who's received a mysterious job offer, and he has to meet someone in front of a specific building to be interviewed for it. So now I get to the description of where the building is, and it's described as being on a particular side of Washington Square. I realize that I am at that very moment in a building on Washington Square and, further, that it is the only building on the side specified in the story. So I am on the mezzanine level of this building "at the same time" that the protagonist is standing in front of it! Spooky.
You can read this and other people's experiences, submit your own, and learn more about the project at http://understandinguncertainty.org/user-submitted-coincidences/fictionalreal-location

2 comments:

Unknown said...

A friend had a similar experience reading On the Road while on a car trip. He finished a passage about a beautiful vista and sunset and looked up right as the car crested a hill to show, what at least my friend believed to be, the same valley Kerouac wrote about.

For me, the coincidences in my life are more Tale of Two Cities than eerie.

Anonymous said...

Awesome story, awesome site. Thanks for the link!