Eerie Coincidence

Ha, had my brush with the supernatural yesterday (not really — I firmly believe that every phenomenon is entirely natural, and that the concept of the supernatural, while a necessary one throughout human history for various reasons that anthropologists and sociologists can better explain, is a misguided and false concept). Just going to relate a short anecdote.

I like to read in the bathtub. I am hardly the first person to enjoy doing this, and am unapologetic for doing so. Anyway, I decide that that is exactly what I am in the mood to do. I take only two pieces of reading material with me: Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem and the 22 February 2016 New Yorker. Just those two. As I’m getting undressed and the bathtub is filling, a phrase pops into my head — “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream.” This happens to be the opening essay in Ms. Didion’s collection; I had not opened the book yet, and was far past that particular essay (I finished the book less than an hour later).

I decide to start with The New Yorker, as periodicals (and I receive several regularly, always in paper, despite its wastefulness. What can I say? I’m old school, and treasure the feeling of a publication in my hands, the tangibility of paper. Paper can get wet, folded, crumpled, tossed aside, held to heart. An iPad, though infinitely more convenient, does not have the same quality. Print has a permanence that the aether of digital publication cannot and will not ever match) present themselves accompanied by a certain urgency dictated by the date in the upper right-hand corner. I had not opened Ms. Didion’s book yet.

I was about halfway through this particular issue, on William Finnegan’s outstanding piece on the San Bernardino shooters, when lo and behold, a direct reference to and quote from “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” pops up midway through the essay. I had to say out loud {to no one but my cat, who insists on being present when I’m reading in the bathtub [trust me, it’s every bit as disconcerting as it sounds, but after a time weighing between letting him hang out on the rug quietly or enduring his yammering outside the door, I finally just figured “Fuck it.” (My life philosophy in general.)]} “well, shit.”

 

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~ by Benji on 20 February 2016.

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