I’d been dating Kim for about a year when she asked me what color her eyes were. “Green,” I guessed – correctly, as it turned out, and she married me.
I vaguely recall reading in a Kurt Vonnegut novel, years ago, a scientist’s commenting, “I’m not much of a noticer.” I know what he means, and so does Kim.
Cases in point:
Kim did some redecorating. She placed a large basket of seeds and pods that she had collected on a counter about five feet from where I eat three meals a day. She asked me to close my eyes and describe what is on the counter. I did so, except for the basket of stuff.
I asked, “How long has it been there?”
“About a week.”
I was drying the dishes while Kim rested. I wiped the invisible dirt off of the mixer, as Kim had taught me to do, and then went to put it away. But where does it go? I found an open spot on the kitchen closet floor.
About an hour later Kim asked, “Why did you put it there?”
“I wasn’t sure where it goes.”
“It goes the same place where it’s been since we moved in, seven months ago!” She sounded more amused than annoyed, but I may be kidding myself. I moved it back to the counter, next to the refrigerator.
But that was the old David. The new David is designing and building a house, and suddenly I’m noticing things. I’ll walk into a store and wonder whether the floor is engineered hardwood or a laminate. I’ll notice the feel of a doorknob in my hand, and whether the ceiling lights in a restaurant are recessed floods or flush mounted. I’ll notice the hinges on kitchen cabinets that I see in the background of some Netflix movie. In the same kitchen I’ll notice whether the refrigerator has French doors or side-by-side. I’ll drive by a house and notice that the white exterior paint has some gray in it. OK – so I didn’t really notice that until Kim pointed it out to me, but I did notice it. And I’ll notice an increase in the estrogen levels in my blood.
I am confident that this change is only temporary, and that the old non-noticing David will soon return. There are signs that he is crawling back. Just yesterday Kim asked me if I like where she moved the statue of the crow.
“Yes,” I said, quickly scanning the room.