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Tuesday, December 10, 2002

An Instance of Clairvoyance: The chess set that owned me

In December 2002 I was living in Olympia Washington, enrolled in and living on campus at Evergreen State College. My girlfriend and I liked to go to Seattle for shopping and restaurants.

On one trip I had this specific vision and goal. I wanted to get a chess set. I had precise design in mind -a wood box with glass chessboard on top and the pieces kept in the box. I hadn't seen that design online or in a store, its just the design that popped in my head.

I also had in mind the place to get it at. I had this feeling the store that specific chess set would be at would be right beside the Uwajimaya Grocery store in the International District. I had never noticed a store that would sell anything like a chess set in the International District, but just like the chess set vision, this store just popped in my head. I also had the idea the chess set would be in the left front part of the store.

My girlfriend and I rode the city bus from Olympia to Seattle and got off in the International District, the first stop for that bus in Seattle. From the bus stop at Dearborn Street I just started leading us. Right where I thought the store would be...there it was. A little shop across the street from Uwajimaya's.
The storefront. Now a different business

We walked in, and I asked if they had a chess set. The clerk said yes and led me to the chess set setting at the left front part of the store. And the chess set looked just like the one I had thought of. Of course, I bought it.
The chess set.
The chess set.

I've never been a good chess player, and rarely played the game. But some sort of spell came over my girlfriend and I. We played chess for the next three days, every hour we were awake. My girlfriend was going to college in San Diego, so eventually she had to go back before school started. We played right up to the hour she had to go.

I've never been able to get anyone to play chess with me in that obsessive compulsive way since then, that was such a magical three days. Now just a memory -the chess set that selected me and owned me for a few days.