In response to my post about Synchronicity, I got asked over and over again, on comments and in emails, the following question;
How do you know when it’s really Synchronicity and not just…you know…being overly analytical? When is it that you’re looking too hard?
I didn’t really have much of an answer. I didn’t really have any answer, and that didn’t bug me much at first. I mean, if Princeton is just barely able to prove it’s possible, good ol’ INPY doesn’t have much of a chance, now does he? I can scarcely fight through a Rubick’s Cube, let alone explain how you know when Synchronicity is real.
But I had this and the fact that I’ve been homesick in my head all weekend. Literally. Those two tracks were where my mind went relentlessly all weekend long. It wasn’t a big deal at first. Really, it was distilled down to two bits of minutae.
1) Did I spell “Lake Paran” right in me post the other day? (See #5, Weekend In New England is a Terrible Song) That nagging question kind of summed up all of my missing New England. Paran? Perrin? Peryn? I kept thinking of it, and that kept leading to other thoughts about home, and Vermont…
2) The line “linked to the invisible” from Synchronicity I. I could not come up with an answer that I felt comfortable with regarding when it’s REAL vs. when it’s…well, paranoia. Or seeing what you want to see.
So I rolled in to my weekend with these things on my mind.
Friday night I went out to see Evan Almighty (It’s got its moments, that’s about it) and had dinner at Clyde’s with a friend. No big deal. I got home kinda late and went to bed without incident.
Then it got a little wierd.
When I woke up Saturday, I was paying some bills on line and I noticed that I’d been charged for dinner twice at Clyde’s. One total was clearly mine, and the other was not, and it was significantly more money. “Great” I thought. “Now I’m going to have to fight with some jackass at Clyde’s to get this taken off my account…just like when the WalMart in Bennington, VT did this to me years ago.”
I called Clyde’s expecting to have to go through a huge hassle to get this charge removed. I spent a fair amount of time on hold and started thinking about that day in VT, years earlier when I had been buying all kinds of crap in WalMart for some road trip that my friends and I were taking…where the hell were we going? There were 4 cars, all of them full of gear and people. My 944 had the rear seats folded down and was stuffed to the gills with gear…and I remember us joking that my car would make it, but the Tercel might not…
Jesus, where were we going?!
Eventually, I got a manager on the phone and he was cool as could be…took care of the charge, said it was an accident and appreciated my not being a hardass about it. That was that…
But now, I’d added another twist to what I was thinking about…
#3) Where the hell were we going on that trip?
Sunday I woke up in a foul mood. I decided that I needed to get out of my apartment, go buy a new book, and chill out for a bit. This has been something of a ritual for me over the last few weeks; get an iced green tea at Starbucks, hit Kramer books, read in DuPont, get lunch. It’s a perfect Sunday morning/early afternoon.
Here’s where we take a turn down Twilight Zone lane. Everything from here on happened in less than 90 minutes.
In line in the Dupont Starbucks was a couple having a slight argument. Nothing too bad, but they were clearly annoyed with each other…and it put me in that odd “don’t look like you’re listening” place. Staring off and minding my own business I heard “Why are you LIKE this Michael?!” to which he replied, exactly as my friend Mike from Vermont would, “I yam what I yam”. I mean, it was like he was doing an impression of my friend. It was startling…
This of course relaunched my “Vermont/Homesickness” line of thinking…where were we going? Holy crap, Mike was going on that trip, and his car (the 60something Delta 88 Convertible) was the other one that we said would definitely make it…
Half in a daze I went in to Kramer Books to find something to read, but still stuck on this whole trip…and my homesickness…and Synchronicity, and I’m thinking “this is NOT Synchronicity, THIS is coincidence”. I pull a copy of the Informers by Bret Easton Ellis because I haven’t read that one but once and I always forget what it’s about and pay absent mindedly…
I decided to sit in the circle and drink my iced tea. “I’m overanalyzing. I’m in a bad mood, and I’m homesick, that’s all.” After several minutes of this I realize that I’m hungry, and I want to sit outside and eat something, and the first place I see with outdoor seating is Baja Fresh. “Whatever”…
I grabbed my seat and pulled my copy of the Informers, popped it open and started reading. There, on page 5 I see;
“…Bruce and I would swim in Lake Parrin at night…”
PARRIN!!! And immediately I could see the sign…that old damed sign…”LAKE PARRIN”.
I popped up from my book and thought “I’ll be god damned…now THAT’s Synchronicity!”…I did this just in time to see a young man in a ratty Tshirt with a picture on of a sneaker on it that read;
“I Ran All The Way Up Mt. Mansfield in Stowe VT”…
Which is where we were taking the road trip.
THAT is Synchronicity. It’s when you can’t deny it…when you don’t have to look for it, and even if you were it’s too much to look passed. Too much to call coincidence. Too much to call it anything else.
As for how I react to Synchronicity? I’m going home August 10th-17th. I’m going to Maine to see my brother, but I’m going to Vt to swim in Lake Parrin, first.