Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Coincidences and triggers

On my flight back to NYC from Dallas, I decide to watch the movie Late Night, that Mindy Kaling/Emma Thompson movie. I find it entertaining enough, and it even moves me to tears a few times. And then, towards the end of the movie, Emma Thompson’s character goes to Mindy Kaling’s new apartment (supposedly out in Coney Island), and ends up climbing the stairs to her apartment. As she climbs the stairs, I think—uh, those stairs looks familiar. Those look like the stairs in the apartment Greg and I lived in Crown Heights for three years. They looked like the stairs in the apartment we were living in when he died.

But, no. So many stairwells in NYC apartments looks similar, right? It can’t be.

But, then she’s up the stairs and all of a sudden she’s knocking on apartment 6C. We lived in 6C. It’s the exact apartment Greg and I lived in. 


And then they’re in the apartment, and I’d recognize that crown molding and wall trim anywhere. I’d recognize that floor anywhere. It’s the same layout. It's our apartment.

And then of course I wonder, when did they film this? Did they film this right after I moved out? Did they know they were filming the movie in the apartment where someone lay dying for three years?

(I looked it up, and they filmed it last year, in 2018. I moved out in Fall 2016. So, not right after.)

And then I had to laugh a little, because we all talk about trigger warnings, and this movie should have had one just for me: "Alvina Ling, please be advised that this movie will feature the apartment that you and your husband were living in together when he died." But really, now that it’s been almost four years since Greg died, I’m used to it. I mean, so many things remind me of Greg, but I don’t get emotional. I can recount story after story about him without feeling sad (usually). I live a block away from that apartment, on the exact same street, and I walk by that apartment multiple times a week and although I do always take note, I'm fine. But seeing the inside of that specific apartment so unexpectedly was...well, startling.

But, I do love coincidences, though. I mean, really--what are the chances? So, I felt compelled to share.