Here we say O-hi-o

by rachel

On-yez, where are you from, dear?’ asked a black-slacked, frosted-haired woman whose skin was papery and melanomic with suntan. ‘Originally.’ She eyed Agnes’s outfit as if it might be what in fact it was: a couple of blue things purchased in a department store in Cedar Rapids.

Where am I from?’ Agnes said it softly. ‘Iowa.’ She had a tendency not to speak up.

Where?’ the woman scowled, bewildered.

Iowa,’ Agnes repeated loudly.

The woman in black touched Agnes’s wrist and leaned in confidentially. She moved her mouth in a concerned and exaggerated way, like an exercise. ‘No, dear,’ she said. ‘Here we say O-hi-o.”

Birds of America; Lorrie Moore

I’ve never really wholly believed in the idea of déjà vu – sure, there’s been a couple of instances where I’ve kind of felt like I’d experienced something before in the past. But in almost every scenario I’ve found a way to explain it. This usually happens when I’m reading something and it hits me with a ‘I’ve-read-this-before’ kind of sensation. But it’s never been as strong as this time. The second I heard Agnes say, in my head, ‘Iowa’, my mind immediately went ‘No, dear, here we say O-hi-o.’ It just tumbled out of my mind instinctively. When I actually read on and saw it written there I had the shock of my life before thinking hmm perhaps we’ve read this before or hmm perhaps it’s a common phrase – but basically no one I asked had heard of it before or could come up with anything of weight to explain its familiarity. Rhyhan suggested it sounded John Green like but honestly I’ve read all of one John Green book and I’m 100% sure it wasn’t from there – nothing in that John Green book baffled me like this??

I’m confused but at the same time not extremely bothered – perhaps some occurrences simply can’t explain. Or maybe I’ll just leave this here for myself to explain on another day when I have more time for things like this hmm….

((Also I’m a bit confused as what that whole segment means to begin with, care to enlighten anyone?))