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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lattice of Coincidence

The Lattice of Coincidence? No, the cieling in the bathroom of a Sultan's Harem


As anyone who had the pleasure and misfortune of knowing me during my sophomore year at Wabash College would know, Repo Man is my favorite movie. I watched it on cable as often as possible and quoted it excessively. While training for the boxing Caveman Bouts and preparing to be the toughest guy on campus during the annual Sphinx Club tryouts I let everyone know that they could hit me as hard as they could in either one of my shoulders whenever they wanted. Funny, but I had a lot of takers. It was all to live up to maybe the most famous line of the movie: "the Life of the Repo Man is always Intense!" In sunny times, or in times of being held in interrogation rooms of countries that don't exist, I like to imagine I'm still leading an intense life.

Another famous line of the movie is the "lattice of coincidence". The lattice of coincidence is when one seemingly random thought or thing happens which leads to another, and perhaps another. Our trip has been a long string of proofs of the lattice of coincidence.

Turkey has not been an exception to the rule. While putting new tires on our bikes at ATA motos I briefly met a french guy who has the same motorcycle as Clara. A few days later when we were leaving Istanbul to cruise around the coast this same guy was stuck next to us in traffic in Taksim Square, one of hundreds of busy intersections in Istanbul. He noticed my license plate "VOTE4" and asked what it was about. I told him I had run for office in America and that it was a promotional thing. While we were navigating bumper to bumper, we figured out that we were both political junkies and that the world needed fixing. He noted the www.electkevin.us bumper sticker on my pannier and said he would send an email and we would hook up when we returned to Istanbul before zooming off through traffic.

When we returned to Istanbul a few weeks later I was again at ATA motos when a German guy with a Transalp came in. He had just had his first accident in 7 years on the road and needed some straightening and some bits like a chain and fake license plate to get back into Germany. As we got to talking at the full time conversation and smoking place and part time motorcycle dealership we found Marko and I had a connection.
Kevin: Where are you from?
Marko: Germany, but I've been gone for 7 years.
Kevin: We had a good time in Germany.
Marko: Where did you go?
Kevin: Cologne, Bonn, Munich...
Marko: I'm from Munich
Kevin: I wonder if you know a guy we stayed with, he spent 4 years on the road?
Marko: What was his name?
Kevin: (blanking) Can't remember, he was from East Germany, incredibly nice...
Marko: Was it Jan?
Kevin: That's him!
Marko: Yes, we spent a few years on the road together.
Kevin: Are you the guy who got a job teaching English in Taiwan who couldn't speak
English.
Marko: That's me!
Kevin: You're legend, I know all about you!

Needless to say we had a fantastic dinner that night, as previously mentioned with natives of 6 different countries, including our new French friend Gilles who happens to be a reporter. Dick Cheney would not approve of this type of interaction with people who are not part of the coalition of the willing! All at the table were willing to get rid of Dick Cheney however.

A few nights later, Gilles invited us to his house for dinner where we discovered mutual interest in Bill Hicks, Toots and the Maytals, Banksy and mutual distaste for George Bush. So much so that we moved into his penthouse yesterday. Which leads us back to ATA motos where I went yesterday thinking I was going to get into a basketball game with the young kids at the shop but ended up drinking beers and watching a made for TV movie on the local Fox TV Turkish channel. There were about 15 of us, including the producer of the movie, an architect, a woman who sold containers to Afganistan and other friendly motorcycling guests. The movie was terrible, even in Turkish, but there was a scene shot at ATA motos and the owner, ever friendly Ahmet, did a stunt motorcycle crash for the final scene on his KTM which elicited great cheers from the partisan crowd.

What do Gilles and a made for TV Fox movie bring the Lattice of Coincidence into play? After the movie was over I spoke to the producer about the state of cinema today and he agreed with me that it is going downhill and that it is mostly crap, including what we just watched. So much of it he does just for the money and you have to spend years paying your dues. He sounded weary of his profession which is never fun. I asked him if he liked any movies recently, and he said he really liked "The Thin Red Line", a real producers movie that was art which I have never seen. Meanwhile, I have come down with a cold and so am staying home today and was hoping Gilles had some movies to watch. He has about 15 DVD's. I'm about to watch a movie. If you don't know which one I'm going to watch, I haven't explained the Lattice of Coincidence very well.

REPO MAN:
Miller: A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

1 comment:

Art said...

Did you notice that all the repo men were named after beers? Bud, Oly, Miller, Lite...