where enemies become friends
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crestwindfallen ibowman 0721151239

adjective : the feeling of dejection experienced after participating in a major coincidence without receiving acknowledgment, credit or reward

I was crestwindfallen in three separate decades.

In 2004 I coded printer drivers for a Silicon Valley company you've never heard of. Nights, sitting alone in the dark in my apartment, I looked up online how much money was going into my 401k. That was how I approximated a satisfying existence.

I had just graduated. I didn't have a social life. The most exciting thing I found within that first year of working was drinking a certain type of tea, and reading Dune. That was me in those days.

And when I finished Dune, I was sad. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to know the Dune characters, personally. I wanted to be in the Dune setting more than I wanted to live my life.

For a few weeks, I tried to find Dune related music. I was looking for songs by popular artists written about the book. Were there any? Alas the Google searches, and Wikipedia entries weren't what they are today. All I found was some fan-fiction poetry with the disclaimer that what I reading was probably illegal.

Depressed, I loaded up my iPod. It was the one cool thing I bought before graduating. The Piece of Mind album by Iron Maiden was a grad school favorite. I lay on my bed, listening to it and staring at the ceiling.

The last song on the album, To Tame a Land was slow for my taste. I usually skipped it. But at that moment, I was resigned to having nothing going on in my life. I was just some dude who was obsessed with Dune, at once too nerdy and not nerdy enough for my environment.

I let the song play through its pedantic intro until finally the lyrics began.

He is the king of all the land/In the kingdom of the sands

King? Sand? Was this song about Jesus?

He is destined to be King/He rules over everything/In the land called... Banatude?

Where was Banatude?

On the sands so hot and dry/In a world called Arrakis

Wait, Arrakis? Suddenly my ears perked up.

He is the Kwizatz Haderach/He is born of Caladan/And will take the Gom Jabbar

Holy crap!!! This song was about Dune!

What an incredible coincidence.

I sat up in my bed. I was in disbelief. I wanted to tell the world about what had happened.

But no one was there.

I told a coworker about the experience. He was a major music geek who used to work in a record store. The only problem was that Iron Maiden was too mainstream for him to like out loud.

"I wanted to hear music about Dune," I told him. "Then I happened to be listening to a 20 year old Iron Maiden album with a song about Dune on it! What are the odds of that?!"

"Iron Maiden? Aren't they the guys who play the same guitar riff over and over?" he replied.

"What? No. Anyways, it was super weird. I had spent a few weeks looking for a song about Dune. And then suddenly I was listening to it," I told him.

"I'm sure you had heard the song before, and that's what caused you to listen to the album when you thought of Dune. That's not a very big deal."

It was a big deal to me. And all I got out of it was a lame conversation. I was very crestwindfallen.

In the late 90s I visited the San Diego State campus. I was looking for my friend, David Braheny. All I knew was that he lived in a dorm there.

I walked down a street, in the direction of some of the freshman dorms. A stocky, brown haired guy walked in my direction.

"Hey, do you know where I can find David Braheny?" I asked. I was naive in those days, not truly comprehending how large a college campus was.

The guy's mouth opened. He laughed. "That's... my roommate!" he said.

The guy let me into his dorm. He lived with David in room 619. I remember that part because someone had taken a permanent marker to the 1. And I met David and I told him how I had somehow magically found his roommate walking down the street. That roommate told me I had greater odds of winning the lottery than running into him. It's true I participated in an incredible coincidence. But I did not win the lottery. I did not receive a reward. I was simply crestwindfallen.

My mom has a best friend. In the early 80s, my mom's best friend owned a jewelry store in a building in San Francisco. As a child, I visited that jewelry store.

In the second half of the 80s, my mom married my stepdad (note: who lived in Benicia, approximately 45 miles away from San Francisco). We discovered something amazing: my stepdad's brother (who also lived in Benicia, right across the street from my stepdad) had formerly rented an office in the same building in San Francisco as my mom's best friend. My mom's best friend actually knew my stepdad's brother and family quite well.

And so it turned out that due to an incredible coincidence, my stepdad and I shared more world experience than was otherwise apparent. We didn't need to be related before, to be connected before. And so that time, my feelings of being crestwindfallen were not that bad.

have you ever been crestwindfallen?