Sometimes coincidences strike you so hard they jolt you with a pause that compels you to relate it to somebody. As if retelling it gives it a life outside of yourself.

This one that just happened to me was simply too obscure for me to tell anyone, so I'm writing it here.

I'm at my office here in Phnom Penh, it's 8:30 p.m. and I should be home.

I've been perusing the web (not a file sharing service) for Modest Mouse mp3s. A band I enjoyed just before I left the states but have been completely cut off from (like many other unessential things in my former life) since I arrived in Cambodia in December 2004.

Well I found this website that has some of their live recordings and I scrolled down through the dates only to find that they performed in, of all places, Amherst Massachusetts on May 8th 1998. Amherst rarely gets bands of any sort so this came as a surprise.

Just another day and a small town to all except me.

Amherst Mass is my hometown and the place I spent basically 21 formative years of my life.
May 8th is my birthday. I turned twenty years old when they came to Amherst. Of course this was all news to me.

That was just about eight years ago. And oh how shit has changed.

What can I do with a coincidence so strong and relevant to no one but me?
On top of that, I'm in a country where the vast majority of the population would have no clue what I'm talking about.

Obscure band, obscure town, a while ago.


8 years ago I would have said:
"everything is meaningless, especially your personal coincidences"

Meaning is what strikes you as important to your life. There is no denying it, Amherst, May 8th. Those are important to me. And the fact that I'm in Phnom Penh, a million miles from Massachusetts, and I stumbled across this reference that assaults my mind and places itself prominently in my consciousness is meaningful.

But don't get me wrong it has no real value. It also has no meaning in the grand scheme of things. Nothing does, we all know that. But that was the point I couldn't really get beyond before I came to Cambodia: That nothing means anything and where do you go from there? You can't really go anywhere, but you can remark on the meaning as it happens to you. Like talking about the scenery in a bus trip that's headed off a cliff.


Blogger Bhuwan said...

nice journals, though they are tough for me right now. Besides, i learned something.....

9:34 PM  

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