I think it’s fair to say I question my ID of a past life as Philip K. Dick quite often (though so far, I think I’m the only one to come forward with that claim oddly enough). It just seems too extraordinary, especially for someone like me who has been at best a mediocre author with very little in the way of publication credits my entire life. But it’s more than that; a very large part of me feels like I should have- I must have- come back to England instead. Being born in Chicago in 1928 just doesn’t make sense, even if I take my fragmented and sketchy memories of brief and/or non-human lives in India and Japan in between for face value.
I think about my affinity for England, I look at pictures and video of how it was after the war, on into the mid-20th century, and I really wonder if I wasn’t dead wrong because the UK around 1960-1980 looks and feels incredibly familiar.
It could simply be the fact that the changes between 1914 and 1980 were surprisingly minimal in many places, or the simple fact that I’ve had my whole life to get caught up on popular products, TV shows, and the cars produced in that time. Still, it feels strangely right and familiar in a way that simple exposure doesn’t seem to account for.
I’ve heard of people who claimed simultaneous lives in two different parts of the world, but I’m still really unsure about that. I suppose if time is non-linear then it’s completely possible, but it really makes things complicated. Also, there is one solid fact that I can’t deny: I have no specific memories of living in England after the war, only a distinct sense of having been there in some capacity and a gut feeling that I should have been there, that Phil’s life represents such a traumatic break with a pattern going back hundreds of years that it just doesn’t make sense.
Hell, I even lived in England for a while in this life and if I hadn’t met the love of my life here in the States, there is no doubt in my mind that I eventually would have emigrated and stayed there; Phil only left California a few times ever, and the only time he ever left the country he only went to France briefly for a convention in Metz. Though nearly every life I’ve recalled had a period of time in France, Phil’s life just doesn’t fit the pattern very well and I don’t understand. Was the period from 1928 to 1982 my “lost years,” a break in a pattern caused by what happened to me in the war?
Also, what’s with the break in the pattern with names and initials? The names John and William or at least the initials J, W, and H all figure into nearly every life I’ve recalled. Where do I get “P.K.D.” out of that pattern?
It just doesn’t make sense. I should have been British again. I should have been born in the south or west of England and had a name like John or William, and I should have had a completely unremarkable life for the most part. An American author known for mystical experiences just doesn’t fit.