A Mysterious Story…

My wife Michelle on our way to dinner via the London Underground and minutes from our mysterious encounter.

It was the summer of 1990 and my wife Michelle and I were in London for an adventure. It was a fun time and she had arranged for us to meet an old colleague of hers (and his partner) for a dinner at their townhouse one evening.

Michelle is a planner and really good at it. Me? Not so much, especially when on a vacation (I love to poke around and be spontaneous). That said, I felt like I should probably reach out to the one guy I knew in London, a fellow I’ll call Blake, who had gone there to open an office for a US-based brokerage company. I knew Blake, but not well. Still, he was a nice guy, we had mutual friends, so Michelle kept encouraging me to call him. I didn’t want to take time away from our own time together, even though I felt guilty the whole time for not reaching out to say hello.

We got on a London Underground subway train to head to her colleague’s townhouse which also required a short connection to a different line. As this first train stopped at our transfer destination, we saw the other one pulling in to the station across the way! “Let’s go!“, I cried out and we exited and raced up the stairs, across the footbridge, down the opposite stairs and she was pulling me toward one car but I said “No” and pulled her to a different car.

Phew! We made it,” I exclaimed. the train car was packed with commuters. We got to the next station and people got off. Then the next station and people got off. Then another one. Now there were far fewer people on the train and, as I glanced up, standing three feet from me was Blake!

He looked at me, broke in to a grin, and said “Borsch! What are you doing here? Why didn’t you call me?” I stammered out a response, we chatted for a few minutes, and then we arrived at our stop. We said our goodbyes while all I could think was “How the f**k did THAT just happen?

1987 map to the London Underground

Coincidence? Possibly, but I don’t believe in them.

Michelle was absolutely convinced (and is to this day) that it was my thinking about Blake that brought for this encounter. As I’ve tried to analyze this incident (and I’ve had several others in my life that are similiar, by the way) I think about these points and have so many questions:

  • London’s population in 1990 was 6,775,000 but swelled to over 9 million during the day with people commuting in to the city. What are the chances that I’d have pulled Michelle in to the exact car—and at the correct end of that car—to be able to feet away from Blake?
  • How could we have been traveling on the Underground at the exact same time to end up simultaneously being in that train car?
  • What if I’d taken Michelle’s lead and gone on the other train car she was pulling me toward?

While I could go in to my own theories as a non-physicist (e.g., quantum entanglement means everyone we interact could have some level of entanglement with each of us) but that’s a discussion for another time. The mystery story is more fun and puzzling.

Be interested if something like this has happened to you. Comment below.