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Compartment 14B

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Not paranoid, just unobservant.

2004-04-20 - 9:56 a.m.

Do you think youíre observant? Iíve heard that most people think of themselves as observant, just like most people believe themselves to be good judges of character. Iíve recently had cause to re-examine the acuity of my powers of observation. (As opposed to my judgment of character Ė Iíve certainly made enough mistakes over the years in that department to know that I can be fooled just like anyone else.)

This spring Iíve been walking the same streets Iíve walked down for years, yet Iím seeing things I never have noticed before. These are not things that could have sprung up recently either, nor are they small. For example, there are doorways Iíve never noticed that are suddenly sandwiched between businesses Iíve frequented often. I would have sworn that they were right beside each other and now, now there are little hobbit-hole doors interceding. The other day I happened to look up and see maybe seven stories worth of long, sweeping, lilac-coloured rows of balconies hugging the side of a local hotel. I had never, apparently, bothered to look above the street-level businesses on which the rest of the building perches. Even if it is set back, I used to live on that block for cripes sake.

A few nights ago I spotted, for the first time, a little cupola on a church on the way to my house. Thereís a big one on the top that Iíd seen before but approaching from the other way thereís a section of roof that only rises halfway up the building (kind of like an entryway or shed, but made of brick and blending in with the rest of the building) and thereís one on that part as well. In one of those strange coincidences, I mentioned it out loud to J and he admitted he had just noticed it at the same time. It was kind of like a deja-vu in the Matrix Ė logic says that it had to have always been there and you just havenít noticed it before, yet deep down you have just a tiny hint of suspicion, which you know to be ridiculous, that it did indeed just pop into existence.

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