He walked through the house, from one room to another, from the living room to his room, from the kitchen to the balcony. He walked slowly with his gaze fixed on those thoughts, which, very close to the ground, marked his path. In his hand he held a cup of coffee, which little by little had begun to replace the glass of milk with cookies that he had drank since he was a child.
Half dressed, with his shirt unbuttoned and barefoot, he stopped to look out the window, and between sips, he counted in his mind each of the coincidences that happened in front of his eyes. A traffic light that turned green just as a man was about to cross it, another that tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, a breath of air that lifted the skirt of a young woman, and suddenly, all the streetlights were turned off at the same time.
Coming to himself, he realized that the radio was still on, not that he paid attention to it, but that it was a way to activate his mind in the morning; he hated to think in silence. The same phrase with which he fell asleep was repeated over and over on his palate, as if the phantom of his tongue had been condemned to utter it without rest.
His reflection focused on the fact that coincidences are independent acts that find a fortuitous point of interaction causing an unexpected coincidence. But if you stop for a second to look around you, you realize that it is a constant mechanism, born from the freedom of millions of decisions that are made every second, by millions of people throughout history.
Some of them are catastrophic, most go unnoticed, but when one that is wonderful comes up, you realize that everything you have done in your life, even the most insignificant of acts, has led you there and you feel that it is the place and time you had to be. And so it had happened to him a few days ago:
He let the alarm go off for another ten minutes and didn’t have time for breakfast, so he stopped at the bakery to buy a donut and missed the train he used to catch. He got on the next one, after a man slapped him with his shoulder on the way out and he didn’t even apologize. In his seat he found a folder that someone had forgotten, and looking inside he discovered that it belonged to a girl, a biology student, who would have problems if she did not turn in a paper on Human Molecular Pathology that day . He got off at the next stop and, determined to do his good deed for the day, headed to the faculty.
He walked the corridors and classrooms for two hours without success, until tired and unmotivated, he decided to have a drink on the terrace of the cafeteria. A juice and a ham toast later, he prepared to pay but could not find his wallet in his left trouser pocket. Puzzled, he probed the possibility of running away, but saw that the waiter, watching him suspiciously, was approaching his table.
He looked back to find a girl sitting across from him, holding a ten euro bill, which he handed to the waiter as soon as he arrived. He tried to justify himself, but she, anticipating, told him that he could return the favor by asking her to dinner on Friday. Then he wrote his number on a subway ticket, picked up the folder, which was still on the table, and left with a quick flick of his hair …
Saturday mornings were his favorite time of the week, he liked getting up early without having to do it, and having breakfast slowly looking out the window, half dressed, while the radio played in the background. It was his moment of inspiration, of meditating, of trying to understand life and its mechanisms. And while he drank the last drink of his coffee, he still did not believe the mystery hidden in that phrase that was still repeated in his head: “so many things have to happen for two people to meet …”