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  • Writer's picturePatricia

Deja Vu


A tale of mental mind travel



I'm 5 years old and my brother is about to be born. I'm staying at my aunt and uncle's house that I hardly know at this point in my life (because my mother had to go to a hospital that could handle my brother's preemie birth and other complications which was located 150 miles from our home). When I go home with mom, dad and baby bro, I have this vivid memory of sitting in a restaurant around a round table with my aunt and uncle, my mom and dad and another person I don't know. I have a chicken sandwich and some potato chips on my plate and I'm happily eating them.


My uncle spots a potato chip on my plate that has a green spot and he says to me, "Trish don't eat that potato chip with the green in it. It's actually a spoiled piece of potato that didn't get cut out."


"Okay," I say, "Thanks for the tip."


Now I've had this memory firmly planted in my mind from that day on. I've told my mom, my dad, and my brother countless times over the years that the green on the potato chips is a bad spot and should be discarded because my uncle told me so.


***Flash forward exactly 20 years.


I'm sitting in a restaurant with my aunt, my uncle, my mom, dad and brother at a round table having lunch. I've ordered a chicken sandwich and some potato chips.


One of my potato chips has a green spot on it and my uncle looks over and sees it. He says to me, "Trish don't eat that potato chip with the green in it. It's actually a spoiled piece of potato that didn't get cut out."


"Okay," I say, "Thanks for the tip."


As it was happening, there in that exact moment I realized that my memory from when I was 5 years old didn't actually happen until I was 25 years old. It played out for me like a motion picture, everyone in their exact spot and the mystery person at the table my own brother all grown up. It's an experience that I think will be with me forever.


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