Everyone has their own misguided theory about Deja Vu. I guess I have one as well:
We all stumble though life learning all kinds of neat things. After awhile we fancy ourselves wise. Some of us even fancy ourselves politically correct. But mostly we’re a bunch of dumbshits who are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over and over. Deja Vu is like a contest on the radio. “Hey radio fans, when you hear three ‘Boston’ songs back-to-back, be the first to call in and you’ll win fabulous prizes.”
The radio contest works because it’s hard to notice them playing three songs by the same band when every song sounds like the same old shit anyway. The same principle applies to Deja Vu. It’s your chance to win fabulous prizes. If you realize you’re doing the same thing over and over and over. Perhaps you won’t be doomed to make the same mistakes.
I’m no smarter than anyone else about this. In fact, if Deja Vu was a person he would beat me up and kick me down a flight of stairs.
It’s like this dream I had the other night – it was all about Deja Vu. Randall had finally called me back. He offered to fax me a picture of Ms. Right and I agreed. Two minutes later the picture rolls out of my fax machine complete with a phone number and directions… directions to my house, and my phone number. I find a picture of myself attached, except I’m wearing lipstick, eye shadow and other assorted makeup. I looked pretty good.
This simplified things quite a bit. I’d found my perfect girlfriend. It was me. I would’ve never guessed. And now I owed this kid Randall money.
Where should I take myself out on a first date? Dinner maybe, and then a movie? Should I take myself out to a nice restaurant on the Landing or the Hill? No, I’d probably be content with Ponderosa as long as the conversation was good. They have a nice salad bar.
Then I would have to take myself out somewhere afterward. Maybe a game of miniature golf? No wait, I would take myself out ice skating. I think I would really enjoy that. Then I could take myself home.. maybe come up to my apartment for coffee.
“So how was the party last night?” I ask.
Tim doesn’t answer. He looks at me briefly but he’s immersed in reinstalling Windows 95 for the second time this month. Tim is a genius at marketing. Blockbuster is lucky to have people like him writing campaigns for them. But he’s also a genius at completely screwing up his computer twice a month. I don’t have any idea how he does it. It’s mystical.
“It was pretty cool I guess,” he answers finally. “I haven’t been to a kegger since college. They had two kegs of Sam Adams. James really went all out.”
Morning sunshine pours in through the blinds of our office. I’m on my first soda.
“Was Sarah there?”
“Yeah.” He slots Disk 4 of 14 and clicks ‘OK.’
“She called in sick today.” My comment floats for a moment.
“Oh yeah?.. doesn’t surprise me. She was pretty drunk last night. She started off with Jack and Cokes, but then she got into a bottle of wine someone handed her.”
“You take her home?”
“Yeah, one minute she’s hanging all over Mike and the next she’s heading out with Chris to score some Coke, ” he whispers. “That guy is such a shithead. I stopped her as she was getting into his car.”
“Heh. I didn’t know she was into that stuff.”
“She isn’t. She was drunk. Really drunk. I used a little drunkard logic and talked her into letting me take her home. You know, I tell her we’ll get some ice cream on the way home and that’s just as cool of an idea as going out to score coke. So we’re driving back and she starts taking her shirt off in my car.”
“Heh! So wha’d you do?!”
“I stopped the car and made her put it back on.”
“You’re such a gentleman Tim.” I pause for dramatic effect. “You know, your phone number showed up on our caller ID when she called in sick this morning.” I can’t resist letting that one drop. But Tim doesn’t react like I’ve just unearthed an interoffice tryst. He looks kind of annoyed.
“We didn’t do anything Craig, and she wouldn’t have remembered if we did. She lost her keys.”
“You think that was a ploy?” I kid him.
“Once again, I think she was a little too drunk to be making the moves on me. I found her keys on the floor of my car this morning. She probably dropped them while she was thrashing around my car throwing her clothes off.”
“Good thing your girlfriend was out of town. Knowing Laura, she would have shown up unexpectedly at 2 am in the morning to find Sarah on your couch.”
“Actually, she would have found me on the couch and Sarah in my bed.”
“Well I erased your number from the caller ID box.”
“Thanks.” He swaps another disk and clicks ‘OK.’
Our supervisor walks by talking to our office-mate, Russell – the asshole. We both look busy in front of our computers. I’ve often wondered how people got away with slacking before computers were around.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, ” Tim says, taking a slug of his Mountain Dew. “Sarah’s a beautiful girl. We’ve known her for years and she’s totally cool. And even though I’m going out with Laura, ordinarily I wouldn’t mind it if she took her shirt off in front of me. In fact, I wouldn’t mind it if she took more off. But she just gets too drunk. She gets completely out of control.” Tim is ranting. He has honed this skill at Blockbuster and is a pro.
“There’s no ‘a little buzzed’ with her. She’s either sober or she’s raging drunk. No in-between. And she totally loses any sanity, any good judgment. That scumbag Chris would have had her doing hard drugs and that’s the last thing she needs. Letting her take her clothes off would have been like letting her go score some Coke.”
“So did she remember anything this morning?”
“I didn’t talk to her really. I woke her up and when I left it looked like she might actually get up. She was really a sight. At some point she had found that one drawer, you know, the one full of my old clothes I haven’t gotten around to pitching?” He grins. “She was sitting there on the edge of my bed holding her head… and wearing my Junior High gym shirt.”
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