A Spot of Serendipity
I first saw him on Sunday. As I drove out Old Frankfort Pike, a very tall, very dark and very bald man wearing a shamrock-green tank shirt stretched out his very long arms, grinned broadly, and bowed to me from his perch on the shoulder of the road. I laughed because he looked happy or crazy or both.
The next day, Monday, I saw him around the corner from my house. He appeared to be healthy and young, probably between 30-40 and still really cheery. I recognized his green shirt but he didn't seem to remember me.
On the third day, Tuesday, I saw him, still wearing the green shirt, trying to hitch a ride into town on Leestown Road by the Scott County line.
Because I was driving to Louisville, I had over an hour to consider what on earth this guy was doing. I developed two separate and distinct lines of possibility. The first, and admittedly most likely scenario, involves a chemical disorder and a recent failure to medicate. This would explain both the same shirt for three days and the peripatetic inclination that placed the fellow in my path in three very different areas of the bluegrass. I only stuck with that idea until I got on I-75 at Midway. For one, it was boring and two, I wanted it to be more exciting than a simple matter of psychopharmacology.
My mind tends to flow toward the supernatural; my friend Christin says more weird things happen to me than anyone she knows. It's probably not true - it's just that I want it to be true. I told myself that my friend in the shamrock-green tank top was sent here to tell me something. He was way too goofy to be the Angel of Death. Furthermore, I doubt the Angel of Death gives you three days' warning. I considered that he could be a guardian angel or a messenger of some sort. I found myself hoping that we would meet again and that he would share some obscure knowledge of past or present events, perhaps an epiphany or announcement of some sort.
On my return trip into Lexington, just as I passed the spot where I had last seen my friend, it occurred to me that perhaps I was meant to help him. After all, we had crossed paths - it wasn't as if I kept turning around and there he was - I always came upon him. I could give him money, but he didn't necessarily look as though he needed it. The same could be said for food. (I guess I could have offered him a clean shirt but I believe God would have picked Calvin Klein or a dry cleaner for that job - not me.) Perhaps I was to be his taxi.
Then it hit me - I should pray for him. That was my job - to pray for his health, safety, happiness or anything else that came to me. So I did.
I don't think more weird things happen to me than anyone else (for instance Christin is from Ashland, Kentucky and she lives on Ashland Avenue - weird.) I think I just see the connections and I like them. I pick them up, examine them and show them to others because I think they are cool. And because I want to find a reason for things to be connected - for the coincidences.
I have lots of examples of coincidences and small-world stories - they seem to come up almost every day. For instance, Mary Marcum called to tell me about a house for sale on her street, Suburban Court. Suburban Court has appeared throughout my life. My great-aunt, who was really more like a grandmother, lived in a stucco house with green awnings on Suburban from the year I was born until 1999. My brother-in-law lived there when he was in school at UK; my friends Billy and Michelle live on Suburban and I have written about houses for sale on the street three times in the last year.
Neil Chethik and Kelly Flood, whose house is for sale is both like and unlike all the other houses on the street. They start with the same floor plan: a large front porch leads to a living room that leads to a dining room. The dining room opens to a small hall that leads to a bedroom at each end. A full bath sits between the bedrooms. The kitchen sits behind the dining room. It is fascinating to see how various people have added to this plan and how they live within the plan.
At number 135, Neil, Kelly and their son use the living room as a formal space and an entry, the dining room as a music room and because the kitchen was enlarged in 1962 to including a small den creating a great room, they live in the back of the house in this space which opens onto a deck they built shortly after they bought the house in the early 1990s.
Suburban Court keeps calling me back. I suspect it is simply because I like the sort of people who are drawn to this homey and unpretentious street. But I am willing to look for a larger reason for the connection.
In the 1970s, advertising guru David Ogilvy released a study that found the average person needs to see an image at least seven times to register it; perhaps coincidence and connections are just signs that the universe understands that repetition is required for any good advertising campaign.
It's Wednesday and I haven't seen my friend. I knew I wouldn't. Maybe he changed his shirt so when I saw him I didn't recognize him. Maybe God did want me to pray for him and once I figured that out I didn't need to see him again.
135 Suburban Court
1370 Square feet
2 bedrooms; one bath
If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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