you ever become aware of something you werenít paying attention
to, and then you canít stop noticing it? Vary the question however
you wantófrom counting something to hearing the furnace turn onóI
think we all have something like this happen to us from time to
clock ticking on a shelf. The number of steps on the stairs to
the basement. A fingerprint on the television screen. The possibilities
are truly endless. They occur at times, both perfectly fine and
very annoying. And once they begin, often they just do not stop.
out for a walk the other night. As I left the house, I happened
to glance at the app on my phone to see where I was at that point
of the day for steps. The next step I took, the count began. 1,
2, 3Ö all the way down the drivewayÖ 61, 62, 63Ö along the front
edge of the yardÖ 110, 111, 112Ö across the street and truly out
for my stroll. I was around 250 before I finally found a song
to listen to that caught my attention and got me to stop rattling
off numbers as I took step after step.
a shelf in one of the bedrooms of our house is a clock. Kind of
a mantel clock, with a raised face and a pendulum. And yes, the
swinging pendulum does come with a rhythmic tick, tick, tick sound.
Most of the time, we donít notice it. The ticking just blends
into the background. But all it takes is one moment, usually that
arrives as youíre drifting off to sleep, and the sound lands in
your ear. Suddenly, you canít hear anything but the steady clicking
as it knocks around the house.
a collage of pictures in the hallway. Been framed and on display
in the same spot for years. I walk past it every day, usually
without even noticing the frame as I do. But yesterday morning,
a photograph caught my attention. Iíve looked at it every time
Iíve been in that hall since.
be just about anything. And once it starts, eventually it fades
into the background. Maybe it resurfaces again (and maybe it doesnít).
Itís never anything specific, so there isnít something to avoid.
Whatever it is, it just is. It suddenly just is. (Well, thereís
the clock. Nothing sudden there. I like it. A lot. But I could
get rid of the clock. That could be avoided.)
few years ago, people were talking about a song. Claimed it was
everywhere. For some reason, to this day, I havenít heard the
song. (I will admit Iím a bit scared about even mentioning the
songís actual name. Iím told itís hideously catchy and brutally
annoying. No need to tempt the fates and poke the bear by saying
it out loud.) Ever managed to never see something only to suddenly
have it everywhere?
on television about a month ago. Friends were talking about it.
I hadnít seen it. Then, suddenly, it was in every show I turned
on. It was everyplace I looked, in everything I watched. I couldnít
weird part for me is how it sweeps in out of nowhere and suddenly
dominates everything. Didnít matter to you a few moments ago.
You werenít even aware of it a few moments ago. And then that
damn fingerprint completely distracts you. Itís a fingerprint,
and once you notice it, you see it and pretty much nothing else
on the screen.
donít have a choice. There is no way to avoid it. You just need
to ride out the storm until things calm down. Eventually, one
of two things happen. The ticking disappears into the background
again, or you clean the television screen and remove the mark.
Gone for now and gone for good.
you do, just donít swipe your fingers across the even coat of
dust on the entertainment center. Youíll regret that.