Sometimes I blink and go through a mini brain reboot. I would be staring at a road I’ve been driving through for years and years, blink, then suddenly see the buildings, the street corners, the trash bin by the coffee shop, as if it was the very first time. I worry sometimes that it’s a tiny mental stroke because there’s a momentary loss of balance, a shock to find yourself staring at something strange yet so familiar, a sudden panic to find your bearings. But it’s happened so many times that I’ve formulated two standard automatic responses: I either just think, “oh, that’s how you look like to a stranger” or “ah, that’s right — that’s how you looked to me the first time I saw you.”
It’s a familiarity-stripper. It takes a place, a person, a thing and removes it from the mental projections you’ve already created about them. And you just see it at it’s face value. And, usually, I’m happy to discover, it’s love at the second first sight.