Serendipity: noun. Fortuitous happenstance, pleasant surprise. An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
I walked through the parking with a sense of serendipity as the kind wind blew some poor bastard’s twenty dollar bill beneath my shoe.
Zemblanity: noun. The inevitable discovery of that which we would rather not know.
I was sick in zemblanity, discovering that a twenty dollar bill had somehow escaped my pocket, and even more zemblanitous at the realization that the fucking wind probably blew it under some lucky bastard’s shoe.
“Take a look back” they tell me. “Look back on your years and see how much you’ve grown. See where you were and where you are now. You were there. And now you’re here. And for that, you should be proud.”
Serendipity tells me that I might surprisingly realize how much I’ve grown. That one day, by accident, it will hit me, blind side me like mutant linebackers. One day I’ll be walking alone, wondering what the hell my life is, and I’ll just know. One day it will happen upon me that once, I was there, and now, I’m here. And for that, I should be proud.
I’ll look down at my feet, and ponder old pictures of size fives with velcro on the side and laugh at the days when I thought serendipity was cherry flavored ice cream. I’ll laugh at intentionally broken windows and bruises sustained at the hands of a bike with no training wheels. I’ll laugh at thoughts of love and my makeshift formula for it, splattered with sigmas (both lower and uppercase) and riddled with unnecessary symbols that are entirely too easy to construct given their purpose.
I’ll laugh at where I was. Because I’ve grown. I was there, and now I’m here. And for that, I should be proud.
But Zemblanity blurts in my ear, purposefully, to review my life like chemistry notes; over and over and over again, until I inevitably discover that which I would rather not know; I haven’t gone that far. I haven’t grown out of old scars. I haven’t done that much. I’ve only moved around the block from there, and here’s not really that great. I’m only a shout away from there and here’s not sound-proof. There lives next door and it’s constantly bringing shitty apple pies and banana breads here for me to try. They all taste the same. Unfortunate.
It’s unfortunate that I haven’t crossed the board so I can smile, satisfied, and tell my friend to “King me.” It’s unfortunate that I’ve written over twenty chapters of a book that only three people will read. It’s unfortunate that my millions of sit ups, pushups, and squat thrusts haven’t done a damn thing, that I’m still 5 pounds too heavy and I still can’t lift the next size dumbbell. It’s unfortunate that I still only write love poems and I still only think about love and I still haven’t gotten over a girl who wasn’t that cool and didn’t look great in shorts.
It’s unfortunate, Zemblanity, that you aren’t a made up word. That you’re real and that you’ve sobered me up like an ice bath, like a needle in the arm, like a palm to the side of the face.
But maybe not, Zemblanity. Maybe you aren’t as unfortunate as I thought. Maybe it wasn’t all for naught. Because this realization is good, this one that I’ve had, that my life, on the whole, isn’t full of progress or growth. Maybe, now, my eyes are open. Now I can see where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and where I should go, and what I should be doing. Maybe, now, the sidewalk is a little less cluttered with stray branches and unwanted toys. Maybe, now, the curtain comes away.
Maybe I’ve found serendipity, in your belly, in your dusty hallways. Maybe I’ve grown from writing this poem.
So thank you Zemblanity, it seems you’ve helped me along.
One of my favorite things about writing is finding things I wrote a long time ago. This piece is a little more than a year old, and I actually wrote it as a slam poem. But, I came across it, and with some minor tweaking, I thought it was worth posting. I hope you thought so, too.