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05 January, 2009

I am here because of you, and you are here because of me

Sometimes I have these moments where everything just seems to fit together like an entire puzzle dropping from the sky, all the pieces interlocking in an instantaneous and obvious pattern. And it is as if there is no other way that it could ever be. Seattle. Boston. Past. Present. Future. All connected through strange miniscule tethers. And I feel like I am everywhere, all at once. And much like a frozen-in-time view of any universe, I can choose to look at the entire assembly, or to find origins, vertices, points of interest. There are also the paths untraveled, resulting from other obvious bifurcations where everything has followed one path, yet there is an overgrown dirt trail in the direction unfollowed.

Such is the situation standing at the dada show, at the Hard Rock Cafe, in Faneuil Hall, Boston. I am among a group of friends that date back not quite half my life, but dangerously close to that long.

And freezing time, and rocketing back to the origin of it all, I see a notice posted at a bus stop at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus, in front of the Northeast dormitories. I am completing my senior year of college, about to begin graduate school. The year is 1990. I need a place to live, and I am looking. And there is a flyer at the bus stop. For a room at a place called Presidential Apartments. The price must have been right, so I tear the little number off the page, and I call. And this is the reason for so many things. So, so many things. There were obviously earlier pivotal points that brought me to that moment, but this is a critical one that I can recall, and it seems poignant. In a nutshell, the following cascade of events occur over the course of the subsequent 18 years:

  • I meet three guys who live in the apartment to share - they seem cool, so I move in
  • I meet one guy's girlfriend, who is over, but we barely acknowledge one another
  • I live in the place, but the guy with girlfriend ends up moving out before I move in
  • One year later, I run into "the girlfriend" who is now single, and we begin dating
  • She introduces me to some people from her work who play softball
  • I become progressively closer friends with these softball guys, and their crowd
  • I become very interested in a band consisting of some members of the softball team
  • The girl introduces me to a chat network that she uses to kill time
  • My relationship with girl goes on the rocks and ultimately ends
  • I meet, through a common friend, Edna, on the chat network, and we become friends
  • Leave Amherst, but remain friends with the music guys, and Edna, back in Boston
  • I turn the music guys onto an LA band called dada, and we become groupie types
  • The music guys ultimately inspire me, and push me to get into my first band
  • Edna and I eventually start a relationship that lasts a long, long time
  • We move to Seattle
  • I play in more bands
  • Edna and I exit relationship, remain friends
  • Lots of other stuff happens, including some other relationships and some other bands
  • I go back to Boston to visit, and go to a dada show with the music friends from back then
  • I realize that had I not taken the flyer from the bus stop, none of these things happen... I don't date the girl, I don't meet the friends, I don't meet Edna, I don't start playing in bands, I don't move to Seattle, and I don't end up in Boston at a dada show with said individuals...

And there lies the amazing, random causality that defines the paths that our lives take. The butterfly flaps its wings in China, and a kitten gets its claws stuck in some curtains in Newark.

The senselessness is almost palpable.

1 comment:

  1. i realized i wrote almost the same blog entry about a year ago... right down to the butterfly wings thing. i am clearly losing my mind. not even sure if i wrote it better this time! sigh.

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