Saturday, November 16, 2013

the drinking coconut

I had just finished... I dunno, something. Something had me in the city buying something or some appointment, maybe teaching. I dunno. My memory is pretty sterling most the time, but certain repetitious tasks blend memories together. So I can remember the entirety of the last conversation you and I had, but I may not necessarily remember if I brushed my teeth this morning or where I parked my bike.

Anyway, none of that is relevant. I was cruising down Victoria Parade, and I don't know what the word for it is, but this guy was listening to Tool while pasting up posters with a broom. And overhearing it filled me with joy, and I thought 'man that makes my fucking day' and contemplated posting a shout out that would never reach my intended audience on facebook.

Continue coasting down Victoria Parade though and you come to the bane of all traffic - Hoddle St. It's a slow painful intersection where essentially two freeways collide at a set of lights on the doorstep of Melbourne CBD. Seriously this city would work better if they just erected an East-West Berlin Wall type thing rather than whatever Hoddle St is supposed to achieve.

So I'm sitting at the lights, waiting. As one does. And then I hear this 'hey are you thirsty?' as a cyclist, it took me a while for my subconscious to process that the voice was addressing me. And I turned around.

There I see a white commodore or falcon type car, with my friend Andrew leaning out the drivers window with a hand extended, and in that hand is a drinking coconut. 'Take it, put it in your backpack and drink it when you get home.'

I have to take it. As soon as I grasp it he continues to execute the left hand turn he is in the middle of. And like that it is gone.

How delightfully random!

Or is it?

In one sense it appears random, because this stuff doesn't happen all the time. It required a friend spotting me in traffic, and I don't consistently ride home the same way at the same times, so that lowers the odds that anyone will spot me on one particular day. I don't know if Andrew spotted me while taking a drive on a regular route, but I presume he was also not following a routine. Thus we managed to intersect and he at least managed to spot me.

He also happened to have a drinking coconut spare.

So it's improbable. But then it kind of stops being 'random'.

Firstly, take Andrew himself. He is the kind of wonderous rarity that would hand a drinking coconut out a car window. If you ever get a chance to meet him, know that he is amazing, has an amazing energy and please, please, please I implore you... shake his hand. It's a must.

And then, he didn't spot any friend riding through traffic. He spotted me. He spotted me and decided I was worth the effort to track down and give up a drinking coconut for.

I don't think it's random. Or an accident. I have to confess I love Andrew, but I actually don't know him that well. We didn't talk much in school, I saw him rarely in the 12 intervening years and as of late last year I have only run into him 3-4 times. Yet something has changed and as I recognise an amazing energy in him, he seems to see something in me.

This coconut transaction is imbued with meaning, that's what makes it so fucken great to me. Our 3-4 conversations over the past year have produced a coconut.

My life is strange, and wonderful and I don't understand it. But it is increasingly being characterised by these strange acts of generosity. I don't know what it is. But I do know what it isn't.

It's not an accident.

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