I played pinochle earlier today. Wound up winning $8. In one of the games I caught all the kings. All 8 of 'em! That gave me 80 points toward the 100 needed to win a game. Which I did the very next hand.
Now that's a lot of luck with a little skill mixed in.
But I don't want to write about how lucky I was at pinochle. But about something very much like luck. Coincidence.
I can't speak for the rest of mankind, but Coincidence (with a capital C out of respect) seems to perpetually impinge on my existence.
While I was driving from Oak Lawn to Chicago this morning, unbeknownst what my fortunes would be at cards, I tuned into WFMT. Something I don't do as often as I used to. Carl Grapentine, struggling with a bit of a cold, was telling his listeners who won the call-in contest. He had asked what musical debuted in the evening exactly 66 years ago on Broadway on this very day. He gave this clue. It starred a retired opera singer and a star of the Broadway stage.
It was Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. Grapentine then went on to play two excerpts: the double soliloqueys and the haunting "Some Enchanted Evening". The next mile or so I was lustily belting out a la Ezio Pinza that beautiful love song.
Later at home I took one of the New York Times crossword puzzles I had saved from a backlog of two years of desk calendars. Purely at random.
Across 14: "South Pacific" song that asks "If you don't have a dream,/ How you gonna have a dream come true?"
It wasn't "Some Enchanted Evening".
But "Happy Talk" is close enough to make it a wonderful coincidence. For this guy at least.