Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Who Needs a Flux Capacitor?

"Right now, I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time."
~~Steven Wright, I Have a Pony

Last Friday marked my four year anniversary working at the halfway house. I was extremely fortunate to have started at the halfway house about a month and a half before the flower shop, where I had worked for ten years, went out of business. That month and a half overlap was a crazy time of 70 and 80 hour work weeks (in addition to two kids still at home and two in college). As exhausted as I was, it seemed just this side of miraculous that I never once answered the flower shop phone with the halfway house greeting or vice versa.

Fast forward almost two years, I pick up the halfway house phone early on a Sunday morning and say, reflexively, "The Village Flower Shop" before breaking into hysterical giggles. Fortunately, the person on the other end was one of the residents in our supportive living program who had long since become accustomed to my occasional bouts of goofiness and he immediately ordered a dozen roses.

A few weeks ago, after two more unblemished years, on another Sunday morning, I again answered the halfway house phone, "The Village Flower Shop." A few other times over the past four years, I've caught myself just on the verge of answering, "The Village Flower Shop" or worse, "Video Connection," a video rental place I worked at for a little over a year way back in 1997.

Once, when I was a senior in high school, I was sitting on the kitchen counter and reached behind me to grab the phone that hung under the cabinet five years and four houses before. It was not a conscious enough thought to be considered an intention, but I'm pretty sure I meant to call my friend Michele, whom I hadn't seen or spoken to since eighth grade.

I have it on good authority* that many respected scientists suspect that time, if it exists at all, is not actually linear. Everything that has ever happened or will ever happen is happening all at once, right now, always. Our perception of time as a linear concept is apparently a defense mechanism designed to keep our heads from exploding (I'm paraphrasing). Most of the time, all due respect to people who actually understand physics, that just sounds like crazy talk to me. But every once in a while, I wonder.

T is for Time Warp

*Okay, maybe Morgan Freeman is not actually a scientific authority, but he narrates a science show with his authoritative voice, that's gotta count for something.


  1. I do it all the time. It’s such a weird feeling too. For example, I find myself looking in a drawer for dishtowels because the dishtowel drawer was in that spot in the kitchen I had 15 years ago.
    Thank goodness you explained this phenomenon because I thought I was deja vu-ing just a little too vividly. :)

  2. That idea about time makes my brain hurt.

  3. I did that for years after I stopping working at the local hardware store. I actually had somebody hang up on me once when I answered my home phone number "Hello, Kraemer's True Value!" hahah

  4. I constantly answered, "Physical therapy can I help you?" Whenever I answered the phone at home.

  5. Really, I believe anything that Morgan Freeman tells me.

    As for the time thing, if I cross the eyes of my mind just so and let my focus slip a little, I can understand what they're talking about. This, to me, is a better explanation than the fact that I'm just batty and scatterbrained and sometimes date current checks with "1997".

  6. Thanks everyone--it helps to know I'm not the only one plagued by time. :)

  7. little sis5/5/13, 9:39 PM

    I have the time warp thing for phone numbers and combination locks...wonder if there is any corellation between all those numbers.