...It was a dark and stormy night. The First Mate came on deck and stood beside the captain. "Tell me a story," the Captain said, and this is the story the First Mate told:
It was a dark and stormy night. The First Mate came on deck and stood beside the captain. "Tell me a story," the Captain said, and this is the story the First Mate told:
It was a dark and stormy night...*
You'll have to forgive me. Mona handed us a real woolybugger for a Poetry Friday word. "Déjà vu." The feeling that you've been somewhere or done something before when you haven't. It's a creepy, skin-crawling sort of feeling, a feeling that nudges the shivering, scared primate who huddles at the back of our skulls and sends him running for the comfort of his fire. It suggests to us that there is no free will, that all is predetermined and somehow, lucky you, you got a glimpse of your set path. You were given a glimpse of What Is Going To Be, and you can no more deviate from that path than a train can steer off it's rails and take that scenic dirt road, so you relive that moment, staring wide-eyed.
When I was a kid I had déjà vu all the time. Events would spring out at me from nowhere, tackle me with all the force of a beer truck and I'd find myself physically reeling, shocked into insensibility over the idea that _I'd done this exact thing before,_ only I hadn't. I'd dreamed it. It hasn't happened in a very long time, though.
I miss it. I really do. I know the big-head psychology guys have determined that déjà vu is simply a function of our brains, ever hungry as they are for patterns and sense. Our magnificent minds remember a snippet of a dream or take some half-forgotten remnant of a memory and match it to a current event so that suddenly we're stumbling, grinning inanely, certain that we've had a premonition, a sudden touch of magic, felt the brush of a phoenix's feather across our skin and the whisper of a dragon's scales on mounds of shining gold. Something took that from me, though. Perhaps my dreams have entered some other sphere, or perhaps my story-telling apparatus up there that only comes alive when I fall asleep is tired of things too close to reality and instead insists on showing me marble staircases on which I constantly slip, teasing me with symbols and signs.
There's still a part of me, perhaps that huddling primate in me that wants to Believe. It wants to believe in sky gods, in signs and portents, in magic. It desperately wants to believe that cards can tell it's future, that if only it prays hard enough Zombie Jesus will grant all it's wishes. It wants to believe that it can see the future in tiny glimpses, that it can lie in it's pile of leaves and dream vast, incomprehensible dreams of the future that will come true, shocking it like a bucket of cold water dashed in it's face.
Until modern science can effect those changes in my mind I guess I'll have to do what I've always done to try and trigger déjà vu--rely on very sharp, fast blows to my frontal lobe.
* Freely stolen from Neil Gaiman. I'm not THAT clever.