I am in a band that plays the odd local date. Churches, bars, gatherings and the like.
A couple of months ago, after we had finished our setting up to play for an evening in the town tavern, we sat down for dinner and a drink. When the waitress came to our table, I felt a strong sense of deja vu. I knew her face from somewhere, and had interacted with her in some way. Feeling embarrassed, I told her these things, and asked her where she had worked in the past. She looked at me strangely for a second, reddened a little, and said “well, nowhere around here”. That was the end of our chat for the evening, and, within a half hour, our band was up on stage playing. During breaks, I stole glances at her, and was surprised to see her return the looks. It felt peculiar, and coloured the rest of the night for me.
Two weeks ago, we played there again, on our usual Thursday night. When we were part way through the third set, and the bar was fairly crowded, two of the waitresses approached us. They were crying and signalling us to stop playing. One of them asked for a microphone and she said “We are sorry, but we have to close right away. Something has happened.” Word got around quickly that one of their staff had been killed in a crash. We did not know who. Nor did we ask questions, but packed up our stuff quickly and left.
The next day, I read something of her eulogy on the tavern’s website. It was my deja vu girl. She had been one of their very first employees. Her name was Rachel. I still do not know why she had been in my mind, but the feeling had been very strong and immediate. Strangely, I felt a kind of grief, for someone I thought I knew. For someone that I would have liked to have known.