In a former life (as in, back when I was gainfully employed) I was in charge of about 150 pieces of heavy-haul equipment (semi-trucks and accessories) that were leased to clients nationwide. I handled tracking them, making sure they were insured, registered, and keeping in general contact with the lessee so they did not just disappear from the face of the planet while in possession of our $100,000 trucks. And sometimes… Nay, often, as the economy started taking it’s downturn screaming nosedive… Often it was my job to coordinate and carry out repossessions.
It was a really fun job, if you a.) are mostly soulless, 2.) thrive under pressure and c.) like to outsmart people who think they’re going to get away with shit. Coincidentally I am all of those things and I thought of that company, and therefore every single truck or trailer, as my own and because of that no one got away, ever. Fuckin’ with my trucks was like fuckin’ with my emotions.
So anyway, one of the repossession cases was going slow. The lessee was in Missouri, while the company was based in Phoenix. I didn’t travel a lot to track people down; I located and tracked them remotely and did not go in to get the truck until I knew exactly where it would be. I was having a hard time finding this guy because he had gotten an idea that we were after his truck and made it a point to go into stealth mode. One day my boss casually asked how it was going and after I gave him a status report, I made a joke: “Don’t worry boss. I’ll get his trailer or his first born!”
The next day, one of my assistants burst into my office, wide-eyed and frantic. “I just got a call from [lessee’s wife]! Their son was murdered last night by one of their business partners!”
Before you even ask, no, I did not “arrange” for that to happen. But holy fuck y’all. Isn’t that scary? Is that not a LIKE WHOA moment? I guess it could be coincidence, sure. Everything fucking could be coincidence. Would you put money on that, though?
There was a time when I’d take that bet. “Shit just happens,” Angsty Teen Bri would have said. “Why bother thinking about it? I’ve got acid to do, ecstasy to sell.” Angsty Teen Bri didn’t care about anything, as angsty teens are wont to do.
Early-20’s Bri would have said, “Look, maybe it’s not all coincidence. Maybe there’s something, and that’s a big ‘maybe’. But I’d rather put faith into myself than worry about pleasing some invisible force.” Early-20’s Bri was disappointed in people and yes, herself, after she watched her marriage disintegrate at the hands of alcohol and cocaine and lies and forfeit.
And what do I say now? What does Sliding-Towards-30, Redirecting-Her-Life Bri say?
She’d say that those previous versions of Bri are correct, to a degree. It is a lot to think about. I do have shit to do; These kids aren’t going to raise themselves. I do need to put faith in myself. I shouldn’t worry about pleasing some invisible force all the time. Our former selves are always with us. But… This can’t all be coincidence. It just can’t be. I can’t believe that anymore, as I’m noticing that people come into my life when I happen to need them. How I slip into their life when they need me, even. How people exit your life when they need to. How you make a tasteless joke and the next day it becomes a grim reality. How bad things happen and good things happen and in hindsight, you see it all happened as it needed to and even if it wasn’t fucking pleasant, it needed to happen to get you where you are now.