“I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.”
Even knowing this, I can’t ignore coincidence. Coincidence is the unfortunate scapegoat of lazy thinking; the same lazy thinking that postulates that we are merely the flat round, black and white pieces being moved along on a cosmic Go board by the omniscient entities we created to be our guardians.
When I check out a book, the librarian gives me a slip to let me know when the book is due. I assume most libraries work like that these days, but this detail is important. As you can see in the photo below, I borrowed The Ocean At The End of the Lane shortly after returning American Gods.
The book is to be returned on April 13th.
Halfway through chapter four, I came across a slip that was nestled in the pages. Had the previous borrower only gotten this far? Did they simply forget that it was there? The librarians obviously missed it and yet you can see that the slip was in such perfect condition that the only conclusion I can draw is that it has never been removed once since it was last placed inside the book. I certainly didn’t find it when I checked the book out, so take the clues and come to your own conclusions.
But one the detail that stands out to me is the due date on the slip of the previous borrower. Now, I assume this book has been checked out and read other times. I’m not even sure if I should take it for granted that no one has borrowed it since September of 2015, but it does seem strange that this slip has not been even slightly worn out or damaged, or removed from the book in all this time.
Yet it just so happens that the previous borrower was also required to return this book on the 13th of that month.
Tell you what, if some other blogger checks this book out, at this library, and the return slip says that it’s due on the 23rd, I’ll dismiss it as coincidence then, and only then.