Don’t Call Me Shirley

I’m amazed at how these brief quasi-meditations seem to evoke so many comments.

Here’s one more for you.

Have you ever been introduced to a total stranger for the first time and experienced a flash of *recognition*, as though you’d known the person all your life — or in a prior one?

That actually happened to me a couple of months ago. It’s enough to make you — me, anyway — wonder.

13 Responses to “Don’t Call Me Shirley”

  1. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    That has happened to me on occassion. More often, I am introduced to people and I wonder if I’ve ever met them before…. but this is due more to my piss poor memory than anything else.

  2. Alex Krislov Says:

    I’m with Fred. I keep running into people who remember me, and I can’t place them. This is particularly common in Starbucks. I think it’s the coffee, disintegrating whatever’s left of my mind.

  3. Bob Kennedy Says:

    Everyone reminds me of someone else. I once heard about a theory that there are only 32 people in the world, but because of a flux in the time/space continuum, it looks more like 6 billion. Works for me.

  4. Pearce Says:

    Wasn’t it Captain Beefheart who said “There are only 23 people in the world, and 5 of them are hamburgers”?

  5. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    I knew that dinner looked familiar!!

  6. Stephen Payne Says:

    The French invented the term “deja vu” for a reason…

    No, this hasn’t happened to me. In fact, it’s the opposite. I have such a poor memory when it comes to people that it constantly feels like I’m meeting people for the first time.

  7. Brian Spence Says:

    I had this happen when I moved to a new school in 8th grade. It was the first day of class, and as I looked around the classroom, I saw people that I KNOW I’d dreamt about a few weeks before. It was just a flash, but it was so weird.

  8. Douglas A. Waltz Says:

    Mr. Gerber,
    Let me say what an honor it is to have found you here in the morass known as the internet. I just recently purchased three MArvel Essentials; Man-Thing, Howard The Duck and Tales Of The Zombie. Your writing worked for me in the 70’s and it works for me now. Oh, and I liked Void Indigo for the record.
    Douglas A. Waltz
    freelancer at large

  9. Sam Says:

    I have to say I’ve never had that feeling. However, I would like to say, like Mr. Waltz, that I’m glad I found this blog.

    1986 or so, in Junior High I gave a speech on comics for English class. The teacher said he enjoyed the speech as he used to read comics himself. He then said, “Some of you may not know that Howard The Duck (the movie had come out) started as a comic strip for a college paper.” Oops, wrong! I was a HUGE Howard fan (still am), and I corrected him, saying that no, Howard was created by you and his first appearance was in Adventure into Fear #19, and that he was one of the few Marvel characters who did have a newspaper strip for a short time. He kept insisting that he was right, and I made the mistake of trying to correct an arrogant blowhard. I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about, and was promptly thrown out of class. My “A” speech turned into a “C.”

    A few years later, he was fired for sending sexually explicit e-mails to a female student.

  10. Charles Bryan Says:

    My life has been utterly bereft of interesting psychological/spiritual phenomena — no feelings as described above, no deja vu, no prescient dreams or precognitive intuitions. I’ve never been haunted by spooky entities, although I did once marry one.

  11. Tom Walker Says:

    My rule of thumb is to treat those who feel like old friends in much the way I’d treat an old friend, regardless of whether I’ve only just met them.

    It’s usually too potent to ignore, anyhow..and may even yield worthwhile opportunities.

  12. Todd S. Says:

    Just over eight years ago, I went to a friend’s apartment for a casual dinner. I knew that a friend of his wife’s was also going to be there, but we were meeting for the first time to ostensibly work out an alternating dog-sitting schedule for the following week, and I had no reason to think anything extraordinary would happen. That is, until the moment I saw her and had the strangest feeling of recognition, and actually thought, “I know her.” Soon we began dating, and married within a few months. We just marked our eighth anniversary in October, and our first child will be three in March.

    I daresay I knew from the moment our eyes met that destiny was at work, but it’s slightly more complicated than that and I don’t want to sound like George McFly or anything. “My density has popped me to you!”

    What if I had actually said that when we first met? She’s a great person and we’re well matched, but I think that might have done more harm than good.:)

    As any comedian will tell you–it’s all in the timing. Well, that and becoming unstuck in the timestream long enough to recognize your future wife.

  13. George Hall Says:

    Actually, the idea of meeting someone and thinking one had seen them before formed a great deal of the plot of a self-published book I’ve written.

    In my story, the two main protagonists actually HAD seen each other before, but a third character (making it a romantic triangle story) made sure the two wouldn’t recognize each other properly until well after a LOT of excrement hit the fan.

    The book is called “A Question Of Theories” and can be found over at .