The Déjà Vu Conundrum

People think of time in a very simplistic fashion. They believe it is a straight line. I don’t know what it actually is, but the closest conception seems to me that of a blob, a shapeless mass of slight integrity. When I first began to think about this, it seemed like a zigzag. I’ll spare you most of the details, but I will tell you how it started.

When I was 8, I began to have dreams. In these dreams, I was married. I was also old. I had flashbacks to the younger life of this old man, and I could see that his age was different every time I was him.

And it leaked into real life. An arch I saw would remind of a building in my – his – hometown. A woman I passed would remind me of a school teacher I never had.

The day I turned 15, I got an email.

Happy birthday, it started. Then it went on to talk about my dreams. The man who wrote the letter knew what I’d been seeing, knew that it confused and frustrated me. He told me that I was the reincarnation of a person who had been doing this over and over for the last seven hundred years. He said he was the man I’d been dreaming about. We were both reincarnations of the same person. And then, to prove he was telling the truth, he went on to tell me exactly what I’d been seeing.

How do you know exactly what I saw? I replied to him. You’re older than me.

Maybe so, he replied. But I remember being you.