And Other Slices of My Life

An Astonishing Coincidence

By Dee Newman

Just northeast of the California Pacific Medical Center on Castro Street in San Francisco is Duboce Park. Years ago in 1996 while my friend Jennifer was undergoing a routine physical examination at the medical center, I walked over to the park to read a book.

As I enter the park from Duboce Avenue I began looking for a place to plop down. Immediately, my eyes were drawn to a bench on the high west end of the park that offered an exceptional view of the commons and the surrounding neighborhood. Unfortunately, the bench was occupied by a young woman and her child.

I reluctantly chose another spot nearby, and though the view was adequate, I continued to periodically look up from my reading to see if the  bench I preferred was still in use. Eventually, the young woman and her child stood up to leave.

Quickly I marked the page I was reading with a piece of paper and headed towards the bench.

As I was sitting down, I noticed on the bench beneath me an astonishing coincidence. I immediately stood up.

There, carved into the bench where I had just sat down was my name – DEE.