Strange Day

This story begins in the middle, because that’s usually where stuff starts to happen that makes a story worth telling. Especially if the story is the absolute truth. Which this one, strange as it is, is.
This morning, as I’m driving my mother 90 miles downstate to my brother’s (so that I can leave tomorrow for Boston and my daughter etc.), a little more than half way down the NY State Thruway, my mother and I start to hear something like a digital alarm clock going off. My cell phone isn’t turned on, and I don’t have the alarm set on it anyway. I ask my mother if she has an alarm clock in her bag that’s in the trunk. She says no. And if it were packed in a bag in the trunk, we probably wouldn’t have heard it anyway.
I look at the clock on my dashboard. It says 11:11. The chimey alarm keeps going on until the dashboard clock changes to 11:12. Then it stops. I still haven’t figured out where it came from.
Then, as I’m driving back after dropping my mother off, I’m listening, on CD, to James Patterson’s 1st to Die. I hear the main character, a female homicide detective, look at her beeper and say “Code One Eleven — Emergency Alert!” I look at the CD player in my dashboard and it registers the 11th track. I look up at the truck that just pulled into my lane in front of me. On the back are the letters “LRT.” (Like “alert,” right?) I stop at the Malden rest stop to pick up some iced coffee, and when I start up my car, the clock says 1:11.
I’m not making any kind of judgment here about the numbers; I’m simply reporting what happened. You have to admit, it’s awfully bizarre, especially since it’s not the first time these numbers have insinuated themselves into my vision for no logical reason.
Now, to the beginning of the story.
Last night, I finished reading John Horgan’s Rational Mysticism, which pretty much affirms my own contention that we humans believe that we have mystical experiences because there’s something in our brain wiring (probably to do with natural selection and psychological survival mechanisms) that makes us want to. And then there’s a machine, called the “god machine,” that attaches electrodes to certain parts of the brain and causes a mystical experience. The problem is that everyone’s brain seems to be wired a little differently, so it’s often hard to know which part to stimulate to get that mystical response. Nevertheless, poke the right place, and you get to see god — or at least sense some magical mystical presence. Wow! Aha! and Eureka!
My point is that just after finished a book that pretty much discounts the signficance of coincidences such as my 11:11 stuff because they are well within the realm of probability, I have another bout. And it just doesn’t seem very probable to me. It seems rather mystical. But then, again, that’s how I seem to be wired.
I’m also wired to be a doting grandma, so tomorrow I’m off to Boston for several days, car packed with food, a Lego bulldozer I got for half-price, and a piggy bank to give my grandson a reason to save money. (Something I should have been more conscientious about doing when my own kids were little.) Oh well, I’ve said it before: Too soon old, too late smart.
11:11 and out.

2 thoughts on “Strange Day

  1. huh, you’d expect your average research scientist with something higher than a BA to understand the difference between correlation and causality.
    the assumption seems to be that mystical stuff isn’t a continuous environmental state – like, say for instance, our atmosphere containing oxygen, or our sun producing light – and that stimulating the part of the brain that is able to sense such things just makes us, you know, sense them momentarily? it’s like saying that if you attached electrodes to a blind person’s brain, and temporarily stimulated the subject to see things, that the experiment proved that photons don’t really exist and are just internal events created by the brain! of course, you know, i’m as open to that theory as any…after about ten hits of purple windowpane.

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