My Name is Yon Yonson

This has happened before. This has happened. This was always going to happen. Has this happened before? Wait, this seems familiar. Déjá vu.

Déjà vu (French pronunciation: [deʒa vy] ( listen), literally “already seen”) is the feeling of certainty that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are unclear and were perhaps imagined. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L’Avenir des sciences psychiques (“The Future of Psychic Sciences”), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of “eeriness”, “strangeness”, “weirdness”, or what Sigmund Freud calls “the uncanny“. The “previous” experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.[1]

My wife finds the notion of Déjá vu entertaining. I find it sickening. So sickening, in fact, that an overall sense of dread comes over my body. I feel it in my stomach first. Maybe the bottom of the stomach. The part that you feel underneath the belly button. Where gas originates. I feel the uneasiness rise to my throat. Somehow it becomes a lump and it becomes hard to get rid of. A small amount of sweat forms at my brow. Less than a work out. Maybe more than a spicy meal. My personal picture show dwells on the feeling that this has happened before. This has happened. This was always going to happen.

My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin,
I work in a lumber mill there,
The people I meet when I walk down the street,
They say, “What’s your name?”
And I say, “My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin?”
And so on to infinity. (“Slaughterhouse-Five” 3)

So it goes. There is something horribly wrong with the notion that something has already happened or is always going to happen or that will happen. It contradicts human nature. It contradicts the human experience. The experience and belief that everything that we truly experience, is unique to us as “individuals.” It’s never happened. It wasn’t always going to happen. This happen to me. And me alone. I’m the only one who can feel this and experience this. It is for me and for me alone. It’s my experience. So it goes.

About ten years ago, I was at my brother-in-law’s house. There was a race that weekend. He lived by the track. I didn’t go t to the race. I’m not much of a car or motor sports person. I stayed back and self medicated. I was in the garage. My dad was in the garage. We saw a lady struggle across the street. She had a blue shirt on. Tan hat. She was struggling with her car. Cars lined the street and she was blocked in. She saw us in the garage and she yelled, “Excuse me?” I joined her and said everything she did. “Do you have a jack?” we both said. “Yes we have a one ton jack,” my dad and I said. Dread. That was the lowest I have ever felt in my life. At 21 years old, my “individuality” was stripped and I was now part of a collective conscience. So it goes.

Please to enjoy.


  1. Love this post. (Did you already know I would say that?)

    • well done…i had a feeling someone would, but wasn’t sure who would…thank you very much!

      • Most welcome, sir, but how I’ll sleep wondering about deja vu I can’t predict 😉

  2. At some point in my life, someone told me that the feeling of deja vu happened upon a certain firing of chemicals in the brain. That firing could happen, they said, at any time, and make you feel that sense of deja-vu.
    The difference between that neurotransmitter-pattern-firing and a knowledge of this happening before is that with the random firing, you can’t say what is going to happen next, even though right as it happens you feel like you knew it…you just feel that whatever happens, has happened before. We are all sloppy humans, we have free will for better or for worse, and you are still an individual. You always will be.
    At the same time, sometimes the absolute oddest coincidences happen and blow our minds. We feel that we have no choice ever, even if it is really just one moment making us think that.
    We are all connected; and we are all separate; and our brains are wicked mysterious and cool. If that was the lowest that you felt, then that is great, I hope it’s only an upswing from here as you make the most of the free will that you undoubtedly have!

    • thanks, jen. i really like how you broke down the biology. thanks for the reads and please share with your friends.


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