Coincidence Upon Coincidence

I recently borrowed two books from the library. One was INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE by Alan Vaughn, the other AN IRREVERENT AND THOROUGHLY INCOMPLETE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ALMOST EVERYTHING by Frank Muir. These books were not purposely selected. I just wanted something to read and these were gotten through browsing the library stacks

This tale will be told in the order it happened. I usually read my books before bed. The night of my coincidence upon coincidence I read the beginnings of both books. The first book is a listing of true coincidences. Its premise is that coincidences may be self-fulfilling or self- induced. The second book opened with a section on music. I read a little bit from the beginning of each before going to sleep.

The next morning I awoke to the room being very cold. Inadvertently, I had let the air conditioner run all night. I do remember shutting it off before I went to bed. At least I thought I shut it off. It was so cold the next morning from the a/c that all the windows were frosted. And in summer-like weather! That same day I opened my guitar case and noticed the D string was unraveled on the guitar. Itís been many years since this has happened. I always change my guitar strings before they break. This became a good excuse to replace all the strings. After changing strings, I thought no more about it.

That night I prepared for sleep again by reading one of my library acquisitions, AN IRREVERENT AND THOROUGHLY INCOMPLETE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ALMOST EVERYTHING. The left-hand page, first paragraph is where I usually stop reading, that way I know where to pick up again. Beginning at that point I started to read. The reading was strangely familiar. After a couple of paragraphs I knew that I had read this section last night. But no great loss. Just keep reading.

Then I came across something on page 15 which I had read last night but had forgotten about. It had no particular significance in the first reading. In the next nightís second reading, It startled me.

"Players of early stringed instruments had a nerve-racking time trying to keep their strings in tune long enough to get through a piece. According to contemporary reports; the strings sagged when it was hot weather and snapped in the cold."

So the reason my guitar string snapped was because it was so cold last night! Now I had an explanation for the broken string. Then I thought some more about it and realized I just had an incredible coincidence as described in the book I was reading.

Did my reading from the book, INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE, produce this coincidence? It was an unusual coincidence that I let the a/c run all night. And in thirty some years Iíve only opened my guitar case once before to find a broken string. It was incredible having taken these two books out from the library at the same time. (The books are as far apart as you can get in the library. One is # 001.9. The other is # 827.08.) And what about the coincidence that I should unintentionally reread the paragraph about broken strings. If I had not made the mistake of reread it, the whole event would have no meaning as I forgot about what was written. Also, if I had but taken only one book or two different books from the library, again the occurance would have had no significance. And even more incredible is reading the paragraph about cold weather snapping guitar strings the very evening it happened.

Without these two books, my little tale of a snapped string would not be worth telling.

Gary Rodriguez 2002