deja vu

This weekend was awash in deja vu.

Thursday night I drove to Chicago to see Metric at the Metro. I drove home alone through a wicked storm, my ears and heart full of a conversation late at night, driving home from the Nine Inch Nails show a year ago, tired from the end of the semester, from wandering around on Fullerton in clunky boots, from months of wondering what this particular phone call and the conversations to follow would bring. My ears and heart were full of the Camino that night, and of things that I so desperately wanted, and things that would never come to pass. On this night I drove home white-knuckled and quiet.

Because I see and know so many people, I am constantly doing double-takes, making sure the person I see is who I actually think they are. On Saturday I was working at the cafe when my breath caught in my throat at the mis-sight of a customer. She had her back to the counter and was wearing a long skirt, a lace-y, macrame-y sweater, and had her hair clipped up in a messy ponytail. When she turned around, I knew she couldn’t possibly be who I thought she was – she was at least 20 years too old, with graying hair and a darker complexion – but when I waited on her and smelled the familiar sweet and warm vanilla perfume, I found stinging tears in my eyes. “You remind me so much of someone I used to know that it’s freaking me out a little,” I said, lowering my milk pitcher to make the foam for her cappuccino. She just laughed.

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