A knock came at the door next to me as I sat on my couch, chatting with my friend Ken. I reached over my shoulder and had the door open within a few seconds of the initial knock.
But I looked out the door and saw no one. I got up from the couch to take a closer look and saw a small package sitting at my doorstep.
The delivery man was nowhere in sight. I looked around, but couldn’t see him hiding anywhere, which I found strange. It seemed like he would have had to sprint away from the door the moment he knocked, but even then he shouldn’t have been able to get to the parking lot before I had the door open.
I shook off the strangeness of it and picked up my package, recognizing it as the new hard-drive I had ordered for my computer. I heard a truck starting up from the other side of the apartment building, assuming it was the delivery man, fleeing the scene.
Then I suddenly had this strange sensation as I held the box in my hand, as though it were evil or something, like I was never meant to have this hard drive.
So I popped it out of the box and opened up the side of my computer. “Keep your fingers crossed that this will work,” I said to Ken.
“Um… okay…” he replied. Switching out a hard drive is one of the simplest things you can do in computer maintenance, so he obviously didn’t think I should need much luck.
But I plugged the hard drive in, started up the machine, and immediately got an error message, stating that the hard drive was password protected.
Now why would a brand new hard drive be password protected? I pulled it out and put it back in a couple times, but every time it asked me for a volume password.
Ken had to leave for work at this point, so he left me to my hard drive. I fiddled with it a bit more, tried guessing the password, and finally decided to put my old drive back in, then get on the internet and see if I couldn’t research the problem.
So my computer started up okay on my old hard drive, but when I hit the internet, I received a page cannot be found error. I had been browsing less than an hour earlier, but now, all of a sudden, I couldn’t connect to anything.
So how could a new hard drive be password protected and somehow screw up my network connectivity?
So I power-cycled my modem, unhooked my router, reset everything, tried hooking my computer directly to the modem, power-cycled everything again, and still, no connection.
So I was getting frustrated. My internet only went down once or twice a year, so I assumed that I had done something in my hard-drive installation. So I fought with it a bit more, and finally decided to take a break.
I went into my kitchen with the intention of taking a few knifers (Knifers is my preferred pot smoking method using hot knives over a stove.) But as I flipped the light switch on in the kitchen, I heard a sizzle and popping, and above me the lights flashed on for a moment, then died to a low flicker, leaving me in near blackness.
And I knew I had no replacement bulbs for the long fluorescent lights, so apparently the forces of the universe had decided that at this moment, I wasn’t allowed to use my kitchen, just as I wasn’t allowed to use my new hard drive or internet.
Fine, I told myself. At least I could be certain that this problem wasn’t caused by my inability to install a simple hard-drive. So I decided to go outside to my front yard, where I had a Frisbee-golf basket and practice my putting.
It was already dark out, so I needed light, and naturally, when I flipped the porch light on, I heard a crackle, a fizzle and a flash before my porch light died. I checked my junk drawer and found no replacement bulbs.
So… no hard-drive, no internet, no kitchen, and no front yard… all in a matter minutes.
And it occurred to me that I had even felt that evil presence before it all happened, and for a short time, wanted to believe that some kind of spirit was screwing around with me.
So I told myself that if this was something more than a crazy string of coincidences, that it should mean something… I should learn something from it… the coincidences should come together somehow to form something of purpose…
But they never did. I called my internet service provider, and they explained that they’d had an outage in my area. They had it fixed later the next day. I called the hardware company and found out that they had accidentally sent me the wrong hard drive that happened to be password protected. I returned the drive and a week or so later they sent me a new drive that worked perfectly.
And the lights, of course, were just blown lights. I bought replacements within a few days.
But I still waited for some kind of sign that there was a purpose to this and never found any. I have talked to people who firmly believe that spirits do things like this to us, but at the same time have never had a string of coincidences as dramatic as what I experienced.
If you think about it, every moment of every day there is a multitude of opportunities for wild coincidences. Every time our eyes move, we see dozens if not hundreds of different objects and occurrences that we could attach some kind of significance to, or that might match up somehow with some other object or occurrence. So to me it would seem ridiculous and statistically unrealistic if coincidences like this did not occur at least occasionally. It seems like with all the opportunities for things like this, I find it strange that they do not more often.
So perhaps that was the meaning behind it, to remind me that sometimes things do not happen for a reason, that there is such a thing as a wild coincidence that’s just nothing more than a coincidence.