You know that feeling you get, when you know you’ve done all this before, even though it’s not documented anywhere, and others will call you crazy if you say it aloud? But you know it happened, or at least you strongly think it happened, because your body is giving you that feeling, that sense that things are exactly as they were at some other point in your history. It’s eerie, uncanny, and emotionally draining sometimes to get that feeling. Luckily it doesn’t seem to happen all that often. It’s more than just a Denzel Washington movie. It’s déjà vu.
When I was 10, we went to Dorney Park for a school trip. Now, I am deathly afraid of roller coasters (well, not of them, per se, but of falling off of them in a fiery death), so I didn’t want to go near one. Several of the boys in my class thought this was funny, so they would tease me about it mercilessly, until I just sat down on the bench and cried. Then I remember watching them laughing as they stood in line for the biggest coaster in the place. That moment was cemented in my mind, them laughing while standing in line, then them riding the roller coaster with their hands high up in the air (the surrender pose). And every single time I went back to Dorney Park (many times) I couldn’t go anywhere near that roller coaster not because of the fear, but because of the sense that I was back in that same place with those same kids in line laughing at me, enjoying my misery. Déjà vu.
Then I was 16, and there was this girl I could have sworn I asked out on a date. I mean, it happened in my mind every single time I saw her. She would be walking down the street with her friends. I would be walking alone, as usual. Then I would pass by her, she would drop her books (I know, I know), I would help her pick them up, and our eyes would meet. I know, I’ve seen too many movies, but this was too real, not like a movie. And then it happened. We passed by each other, her books magically fell, and I helped her pick them up. And it was so strange because it felt like it had already happened, even while it was happening. I was so shocked by it that I didn’t even speak to her when she thanked me, then gave me this odd look before continuing on with her friends. Déjà vu.
And again, at 23, I woke up early one morning, dragged myself into the bathroom, got ready for work, and headed outside to get into my Ford Probe to make my way there. Halfway to my (admittedly small) car, I stopped mid-stride. Something was off, and I finally realized what it was. The moon was pretty high in the sky. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 1:30 in the morning. I had gone through my entire ritual just like it was 7:30, and instead it was six hours earlier. So, I went back to bed. And it happened again three nights later. I felt exactly the same, too, and it hit me in the exact same spot in the parking lot. 1:30 in the morning. And every so often I check my watch halfway to my car because I get that feeling again. Sometimes I’m not even wearing a watch, but I check it anywa. Déjà vu.
Yes, I am a firm believer in that intense feeling of similarity, that feeling that this has all happened before. It’s a strong one too, and every once in awhile I have to sit down because it’s so powerful. Now, I’m not saying these things have happened before, but my body really seems to think they have. If only I could train my subconscious to think otherwise, or I’ll never be able to go back to Dorney Park again.