We are smacked over the head with the ‘already seen’ in the experience of déjà vu. Nowadays neuroscience blames the sensation on a synaptic gap – a brain-error – of input bypassing the short-term memory and laying its feelers in the long, cuddling up to create a watercolour impression of a falsity – a memory, seemingly familiar.
I don’t care for the explanation. I tend to embrace the sensation of A L R E A D Y S E E N – the possibility that I have, managed, to pre-see the oncoming future.
I think: if, unconsciously, I have pre-seen the event – or person – or extraordinary situation – then I could do it again, and more effectively. I want to know how to do it, deliberately, but the only information I hold is
the glimpse of the A L R E A D Y S E EN
the current surreal situation, and
the GAP between them.
It’s this gap that interests me. If by some process I can read the future I am doing it subconsciously, below current mindfulness, in the black gap between human experience and quantifiable data, where science is unable to enter. Where images flash and pass, touch, lick, smoulder, disappear, I float through.
In the material world I find the people most profound to be a manifestation of the gap. They are a vessel through which passes the flow of intuition from earth – to body – toward the beyond-death secrets. They lead us on to the next image.
One boy, Nino, was one of those beings, living between this world and that, this fact and that. I met his family in a campground in southern Spain, on the Costa de la Luz, looking across the ocean to Africa. The crags of Morocco were darkly majestic. The people in that camping were from all over the world, a meeting of colours and habits.
His mama was Moroccan: wild, with long black hair and a formidable look. She carried Nino on her hip, and her body was all wire, and muscle. Her husband was a Frenchman, and while boyish in feature, and so blonde and blue eyed, his weariness creased across his eye lids. They’d married in Paris, had spent the past three years living in a rural area of Morocco, and were headed back to France, although carless at that point.
The two of them liked hashish, and I’d smoke along with them. They lived in a big tent with ten dogs. Yes, ten dogs. Nine scraggly street dogs, plus a big old fancy-pants French black Labrador. Dogs were permitted in the campground, although the limit was supposed to be four. The owners had allowed six, and the others were secret.
Don’t ask me how the hell they smuggled them in. I wouldn’t know, but while I was there the dogs were on rotation; a bunch kept hidden in the back of the tent, while the others were hanging around outside. They were all so golden and hungry-looking, besides the Labrador, no one could tell which was which.
They were kept discreet, but you could hear them if you listened. They’d be shuffling around, grumbling and growling, a sudden snarl. Then quiet. It was Nino that interested me the most, though. He manifested as a vibrant sense of liberty. His round eyes peered across the universe, while his curly hair tied him to the earth. He’d bend over you and gaze into your soul and shout his happiness and point out beauty.
His name epitomised fluidity and potential. Nino, it means boy in Spanish, and he was just that, a boy-shaped form, brimming with what boy could be. Sometimes he’d be woofing, other times he’d skip along the grass shouting bonjour! to the Scandinavian campers. He transitioned to hola! and was delighted at the return salutes.
One afternoon, I was sitting on the wall outside the family’s tent, sipping a beer, peering at the salty horizon. Suddenly a kerfuffle broke out inside, dogs fighting, the parents yelling and kicking as one dog tried to kill another, the tent swelling and shifting in monstrous form. Well Nino was outside too, and when he heard the shambles he got right up and waddled in. I only noticed at the last minute and yelled hey Nino! What are ya doing don’t go in there! but he was used to it, you know, he was born with those dogs and walked straight across the threshold into the pack of spitting and violent animals.