Coincidences 6: The T-Shirt

The T-shirt
This one amazes me as much as the Note. It was back about 1988 or so, I can’t remember the specifics, but I think we had just played Ultimate or canoed a river or something and I needed a fresh shirt. My friend Craig F lived very nearby and offered me one of his t-shirts to borrow, with the admonition that it was a favorite shirt and he really wanted me to bring it back. Well, again the paths of life took us in different directions (if I remember correctly, Craig moved to Portland ME very soon after that) and I was not able to return his shirt. But I knew it was his, and intended to return it, so for about 10 years this t-shirt sat among my things, clean and unworn, for the opportune moment when I could get it back to him.

Then one evening, I was back in southern Maine and my friend Kevin and I were going to a concert. I was living and working way up in the north woods, and never spent any time in southern Maine….Portland was a planet away to me, and all my belongings were in a storage shed. But on a whim, thinking “Hey, we’re going to Portland and last I knew, Craig lived there somewhere…maybe I’ll run into him”, I went to my storage area and grabbed the shirt. When I tossed it into the car, Kevin asked “What’s that?” and I told him it was in case we bumped in to Craig. Kevin didn’t know him, but thought it was pretty unlikely, since Portland had about 1 million occupants.

So as soon as we rolled into the outskirts of Portland, Kevin headed over to a small gas station to fill up. As we pulled in, a car pulled in beside us, and (you guessed it), it was Craig. I hadn’t seen him in over 10 years, but I grabbed the t-shirt, walked over to his window, said hello and handed it back to him.

The best part…everyone who knows me knows that I have a strangely lucky streak. I can’t explain it, but after people get to know me, stuff like this just doesn’t surprise them any more. At that moment, neither Kevin nor Craig were even surprised about our chance meeting. We all just took it in stride, gave high fives and hugs, and went our separate ways.

I didn’t see Craig again for another 10 years or so, although we did find each other on Facebook. But just two summers ago, Kevin and I (again, lol) were driving back from a canoe trip in eastern Maine, and stopped at a famous gas station (Dysarts, for all you friends from Maine) to fill up and get fed. And just as we pulled up to the gas pumps, who would pull up right beside us like before, but Craig. I rolled down my window and said “We really have to stop meeting like this!”

 

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