Witch City Consignments is one of the better known second hand stores in Salem, Massachusetts. On a Sunday, when the library isn’t open until one in the afternoon, it can be nice to walk up and down the aisles of forgotten furniture, archaic fixtures, films, music, and tomes of old lore (used books).
In glass case you can find vintage toys, cameras, and other oddities that the staff would rather you not “see” with your fingers.
On this day, the radio was on. As I turned a corner, John Lennon’s Imagine started playing. My eyes casually passed one of these glass cases and at eye level was a picture of John Lennon himself.
The odds were really, really, really, long. I don’t know odds. I just know that in real life, these things happen quite a bit. There’s no literary or storytelling reason for this to have happened in my life at this time. But that’s okay because coincidences happen in real life.
Coincidences aren’t so acceptable in a story. If this were a fictional narrative and I were to walk into a store where Imagine was playing, followed by seeing a photo of the singer and songwriter, then it better trigger a memory of a piece of evidence I saw at the crime scene. Or maybe it was the song that was playing when my high school sweet heart ran away. Maybe there’s a twist that John Lennon is actually playing the song in the office of the second hand store, and it turns out he faked his death all along.