Let me ask you a question, have you ever had your perception so radically changed that you are now unable to view the world in the same way as before? That is the position I now find myself in, I’ve split my life into before PRESS and after PRESS. It’s almost like looking back on a dream now, I was ignorant and I can’t help but wonder what I overlooked, what mysterious things did I just explain away and never looked deeper at? Now the rose tinted glasses have been forcefully removed from my eyes; I am forever changed, altered.
Everywhere I go I now find myself looking for that thing that doesn’t belong. These observations have led me to believe only certain people can see the odd happenings for what they are, others can be looking right at one and it’s almost as if a barrier forms and keeps them from perceiving the O.H. Why this is I don’t know, but there is something that makes us different from them.
Like the case of Patrick Hughes, someone born already touched with the mystic of the Odd Happenings and able seemingly from birth to have the power to manipulate time, and then you have someone like Aaron unable to see or experience the O.H.s. Now you can add Becca and me into this mixed up equation too, two once oblivious girls who are now sucked into a world we know nothing about. Forced to think fast and catch up quick lest we fall victim to a world we are thoroughly unprepared for.
I like to think that this had made me more sensitive to not only the O.H.s but to the people who are also able to experience them, not that it’s easy to pinpoint them at all.
These thoughts swirled around my head as I walked to work, it seemed like most of my waking moments were spent thinking about the phenomenon surrounding PRESS and the people who frequent the shop. From the regular customers to the… well the best way to describe them is our irregular customers. My inner literary geek is cackling with joy at the concept of the PRESS irregulars.
As I approached the front door to the shop I was stopped by a man in dark sunglasses, a dark short sleeve button up. I was immediately struck with a feeling of unease, the kind of unease you feel when you think that you’re being watched or like there is someone standing behind you unnoticed, even though he was standing right in front of me and I could see every move he could possibly make.
“Do you work here?” he said, motioning with his head to PRESS’s front door.
“Yes?” I said, internally wincing at how what should have been a decisive answer came out sounding like a question.
“Is Damon going to be here today?”
“No, he doesn’t work Saturdays….can I help you?”
I couldn’t see his eyes because of the sunglasses but I could feel his stare like a physical pressure, and for a moment it felt like I couldn’t breathe. The outside world seemed to fade away and I got the uncanny notion that I was being evaluated, on what I have no idea.
“No,” he said. “You aren’t the person I need to discuss this issue with, inform Damon I’ll be coming to talk with him.” he turned to start walking away but I realized that I had no idea who this was and I just had this feeling that I had to find out, that he somehow fit into this puzzling situation Rebecca and I had found ourselves in and that knowing who he was could very well be the piece we needed to truly understand just what was happening.
“Wait! Who should I tell Damon was asking for him?” I blurted out. He turned half way back around and with a fluid flourish extended his arm towards me, in his hand was a business card.
“You can tell him that the B.I.A. wants to talk to him, soon.” and with that, he turned back around a strode off down the sidewalk in the direction of Woodbine. With a sense of trepidation I lowered my gaze to the card in my hand, almost unconsciously registering the expensive weight and quality of the card stock, Flipping the card I read in authoritative script: K. Reid, Project Manager, B.I.A.
When I looked back up he was gone. But I could feel this oppressive weight settle over me as I opened up the shop for the day, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was being watched as I put the patio set and our chalkboard sign in front of the shop but no matter how much I looked around I couldn’t see anyone watching me or the shop.