This is edited and excerpted from an essay I wrote called Lying Ghost Girl, one anecdote of many weird things that I’ve experienced. I really want to hear your weird things that happened. Click the Contact button to send me your story.
My boys (I think “my boys” can have a meaning in modern slang, but in this case I mean two of my sons, Matthew and Alex) and I were bringing the stray cat we were adopting to the veterinarian for the first time. Before the vet visit, we believed that the cat was a girl, so we had tentatively named it Athena, to go with our lizard, Atalanta (both names are from Greek mythology). At the vet’s office, though, we found out that the cat was male; a new name was needed.
We batted around names in the car ride home. For reasons unknown, the name Boris came into my head, but I didn’t say it out loud because I thought my son Matthew would think it was stupid. He had a classmate named Boris who he didn’t particularly like and I figured he would reject the name for that reason, and also because it was so completely random. Why Boris? Instead, I offered up Hercules, to keep with the Greek mythology theme. Matthew rejected this and any other name I suggested. Alex came up with names of planets, a subject he was studying in school. None of the suggestions satisfied all of us. We seemed to be at an impasse.
Then Matthew said, “How about Boris?”
The cynics to whom I have relayed this story (oh, and by the way, I am as cynical as they come) have said that whatever stimulus triggered the thought process that caused me to come up with the name Boris must have affected Matthew the same way. As I write this, that theory seems laughable, because even if that is the explanation, isn’t that in itself a bit of magic? It seems just as unlikely that two brains would react in so similar a manner that they would produce the name Boris within a minute of each other as if there had been a psychic experience.
If there was no psychic connection, whereby I thought the word Boris and Matthew said the unusual name at almost the same time, then it might be worth thinking about whether our genetic connection caused an identical series of events in our brains with the same result. Of my three children, the one who seems to have the most obvious connection to my DNA, at least outwardly, is Matthew. For example, he and I sunburn while my two other sons tan. We each have a notable freckle on our ankle. I’ve found myself staring at Matthew’s foot, thinking I am looking at my own. (If only he would let me take a picture of his foot so you could see). We also each have a prominent birthmark on our inner right thigh (as far as photos go, this is a no-go for both of us) and a smile-shaped notch on our right ear. (“Matthew, I’d like take a picture of your ear for my blog.” Somehow I don’t see that going over with my 16-year-old.)
These markings seem to be symbols of our connection. Could similarities in our DNA cause our brains to react similarly to the same stimulus? Or could common DNA make us more likely to operate on a similar wavelength and have a psychic experience?
I don’t know. Maybe some things are just beyond reason.