Deja vu

You know what they say: Deja vu is a glitch in the matrix… Could be a change in the code, an agent being inserted or a bug , but that whole feeling that you’ve been here before is a surefire indication that something is awry.

You know what they say: Deja vu is a glitch in the matrix… Could be a change in the code an agent being inserted, or a bug, but that whole feeling that you’ve been here before is a surefire indication that something is awry.

You can see this in action in SL – although we usually put it down to lag or a dodgy connection, rather than an indication that our Linden overlords are up to something dodgy. Take ‘rubber banding’, for example – you’re happily walking along the street, when suddenly time seems to stretch, you’re involuntarily caught up in a virtual wormhole – unable to extract yourself from its pull as you continue onwards, helplessly caught in its grip. Then ‘snap’, you’re brutally yanked backwards into your immediate past, to find yourself traversing that same road over which you were earlier walking, repeating your footsteps, seeing the same things, reliving the moment. Lag? Deja vu? Or something more sinister? You decide!

We’ve all had that weird and rather off-putting feeling sometime in our lives, in the real world; but what do you do if it’s more than just a feeling? What if exactly the same sequence of events unfolds in front of you – an exact repetition of something that had previously happened? Wouldn’t they be just a little bit freaky, if not downright weird?

And that’s exactly what occurred to me this morning, which was in every other respect, completely normal. I’m sat on a bench on the station platform, waiting for my train and as I’m looking down the platform, I notice a tall, thin woman in grey trousers and a blue denim top walking towards me. She’s wheeling a brown suitcase and, as many hundreds of people do on a daily basis, passed by and carried on down the platform. Nothing at all unusual about it, and I would have thought nothing more of it – the only reason I really even took any notice was that her clothes seemed somewhat ill-fitting on her thin frame.

Three minutes later, she walked down the platform and passed me again, same direction, same pace, same position! I quite literally found myself doing a double-take, and I must admit to being just a little bit weirded out. Before you ask, no she hadn’t made her way back to where she’d started without me noticing – she would have to had walked within a few feet of me, and at no time was I so distracted that I wouldn’t have noticed her. Even if that was the case, she simply would not have had sufficient time to make her way all the way back up the platform, compose herself and turn around to recommence her walk in any fashion that wouldn’t have attracted my immediate attention.

I simply have no idea how she could have achieved it… It was deja vu, but for real! So weird was the occurrence that I’ve spent all day puzzling over it and however I try to rationalise it, I keep coming back to the Sherlock Holmes deduction Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Based on that assumption, it was impossible for that woman to have magically been in two places at once, so the truth – improbable though it might seem – is that this really is the Matrix!

In some ways that is terribly worrying – the thought that life is an illusion and that humankind is being farmed by faceless, unfeeling machines, is more than a little disturbing; but I like to think of our invisible overlords as more genial and benign. If life has to be nothing more than a digital simulation, I’d much prefer to consider it as more akin to SL: Slightly crazy, lots of shopping, and not to be taken terribly seriously. I grant you, that doesn’t account for some of the less than perfect aspects of life in general, but – just as I sometimes struggle to understand some of the nuances of SL – there’s no reason to assume that the real world (or whatever passes for it) should make any more sense.

It’s all terribly confusing, but I can’t help thinking that I’ve had a glimpse behind the curtain, and life – or whatever this really is – will never be the same again.

Either that, or I’ve just experienced the freakiest deja vu moment ever!

s. x

Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?
Everytime she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks

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