It is highly known that what happens in movies, usually only happen in movies. Certain moments of coincidence, of wonder, of awe, only happen in movies. Movies are not reality.
However, last weekend, I experienced a movie-like coincidental situation. I currently work in a café and someone from my past happened to come to the café for a cappuccino. Personally, I had never met this person since my mother used to work for this person twenty years ago. I was just a baby in her womb before she left working for this person’s café in New York. Thus, I had no clue who he was however since he was American like me, we started talking about New York. He asked a question about the Pastiera Napoletana cake which we serve at the café, since he makes it with grain at his café in New York, which led me to ask what the café was called and realizing my mom used to work for him. He could have went to any café in Gozo or our conversation could have been a minimal one; that of a customer and a waitress. However, as the good old saying goes; life has a funny way of playing out. This was really a coincidence. It really was a movie-like situation, especially the build up to realizing who he was.
He was most certainly a sign. He was a representation of my past; my country and my childhood. Another situation like this happened to me before. A good friend of mine from New York sends me birthday cards every year. One year, she put a sticky note that her daughter found in a book at the library of my old elementary school in New York. The sticky note happened to be mine; I wrote it as a kid. It was my hand-writing and my name. I was shocked when I saw it. It was my past catching up to me. Just like this sticky note, so was this person a piece of my past, of my far away past, that is catching up to my present. When I mean far away, I don’t only mean time but also distance.
Sometimes, past events or persons or objects that catch up to us from our past can be negative, but some can be beautiful and emotional. For me, it was simply a sticky note that happened to stay in that book for eight years. For me, it was simply a man who represented a café that my mom used to work at and that my family used to buy cake from every Sunday. Every year, I look forward to friends of mine who come to Malta from New York because they too are a piece of my past, and yet, they are also my present. They bring along with them New York and I love the way they talk like Americans and act like Americans. That was my past a long time ago. However, it is still my present and hopefully, also my future. My near future.
What is certain is that these moments of mere coincidence that happen to me are signs. They are signs that I did live in New York and that I am still there, even though not physically, but in some sort of spirit. I don’t know how to explain it. I simply existed there.
Once, I had the worst dream I could ever possibly have. I dreamed that I had dreamed up my entire childhood and that I never really did live in New York and that I was not from there. It scared the Himalayas out of me. I know it was my mind playing tricks on me, going into those parts of our brains where insanity forms. However, I still do get those scary moments of doubt. I doubt my American childhood. I sound crazy, I know. However I remind myself that my brain is playing tricks on me. We all suffer from doubt at some points of our lives.
Furthermore, this person truly made my day. I was so stunned at the coincidence and the build-up of conversation that I kept thinking about the moment. He was also so friendly. He remembered my mom and said she was the best worker he ever had. It made me so happy. It really was a scene out of a movie and with my normal life, such things certainly wouldn’t happen to me.
I felt the need to talk about the situation that I experienced because we all lead busy lives. It is 2019 and we are so occupied with doing things instead of actually enjoying them. The same goes for these rare moments. We might not realize we are experiencing these rare moments! They may not be coincidental moments, but moments in general. Moments that you will remember for your entire life because they impacted you so much. Let’s not forget to live and to create moments like these. Rare moments.