Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
(Erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein)
I lived in a copper-mining town in Arizona for four years in the late 1990’s. Afternoon and night shifts at a Circle K convenience store/gas station paid the bills. I was graced with many singular and sometimes disturbing experiences during that time. One of those events involved a favorite song. This uncanny true story happened on a mid-afternoon shift. I remember that sunlit afternoon; the manager and morning crew had left, and I was on my own until 10 pm.
There was a view of cottonwood trees lining Pinal Creek at the foot of a rocky hillside across Highway 60 from the store. Sometimes, I would tune in to a local FM classic rock station during my shift. It was a slow mid-afternoon, not many customers in the store, and as I listened to the predictable hits on the radio I suddenly had a craving for a favorite song by Cream: White Room. I called the station thinking I could request it. A recorded message told me there was no one to receive my call, that the programming at that hour was pre-set by computer and to check their website for further information. I remember hanging up the phone, crestfallen and resigned to not hearing my Cream song that day. I had told no one of my desire to hear White Room . . .
I can’t recall if it was immediately upon hanging up the phone or twenty seconds later that the celestial chords and choirs of White Room burst forth from the radio. Had I been an atheist, that moment might have moved me toward faith in an omniscient God.
Or maybe it was the Mind-Reading Psychic Radio . . .
In the white room with black curtains near the station
Black roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment
I’ll wait in this place where the sun never shines
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves . . .
You said no strings could secure you at the station
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows
I walked into such a sad time at the station
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning
I’ll wait in the queue when the trains come back
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves . . .
At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes
She’s just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings
I’ll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves . . .
by Pete Brown & Jack Bruce