Is there a word opposite of déjà vu? (Lucia Berlin)

No one else was outside, and I was too depressed to call anybody to come see the unbelievable sunset. Is there a word opposite of déjà vu? Or a word to describe how I saw my whole future flash before my eyes? I saw that I’d stay at the Albuquerque National Bank and Bernie would get his doctorate and keep on painting bad paintings and making muddy pottery and would get tenure. We would have two daughters and one would a dentist and the other a cocaine addict. Well, of course I didn’t know all that, but I saw how things would be hard. And I knew that years and years from then Bernie would probably leave me for one of his students and I’d be devastated but then would go back to school and when I was fifty I’d finally do things I wanted to do, but I would be tired.

From Lucia Berlin’s short story “Lead Street, Albuquerque.” Collected in Evening in Paradise.

4 thoughts on “Is there a word opposite of déjà vu? (Lucia Berlin)”

  1. I saw this too in 1958. I had been married 5 1/2 months and knew it was doomed to divorce. But when? I sat down that Sunday and thought, “Do I want to wait 2 or 3 kids and 15 years later or do I want to stop now and get on with my life. I got out. “Did you give it a chance?’ everyone said. Well I didn’t give Obama a chance either after his 2nd day when he picked his cabinet. Either.


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