…Then Barnes & Noble and Borders took it one step further by introducing massive superstores. Sometimes built in converted movie theaters or bowling alleys, these megastores carried as many as
and just before turning the French-vanilla colored leaf, I said out loud “100,000″. Then I turned the page to find that is exactly what came next.
The number 100,000 hit me with such certainty that it felt like a premonition. That’s why I said it out loud, so I couldn’t convince myself afterwards that I only thought I knew in retrospect that it was coming. So what happened?
Maybe I could subliminally read the number 100,000 through the page. The paper in this book is fairly thick, and when holding the page up to the light I still can’t read 100,000 through it because words are printed across it on the obverse. But you never can tell — what our eyes and brain take in and process exceeds that which reaches our consciousness.
Perhaps I heard this figure somewhere before. I don’t remember ever hearing the number of books in these stores discussed, but it’s certainly possible that I did and forgot about it. Again, the brain is a strange machine.
A lucky guess? An informed estimate, that just happened to be spot on? Maybe, but where did my feeling of certainty come from?
Maybe it was a premonition. Our perception of time is even more limited than our perception of color or sound, where other species outperform us. To us, ultraviolet light is invisible — but birds can see it. What if, on occasion, we can perceive events in time just beyond the usual event horizon of our normal cognition?
Maybe my mind was so in tune with the changes of the moment that what followed became natural and necessary not only in the order of things, but also in my own consciousness.
Perhaps the Holy Spirit inspired me with Divine Knowledge.
Or Satan attempted to deceive me into sorcery and witchcraft by giving me one of the answers. The first one’s free, buddy.
Maybe this is a symptom of the inherent falsehood of the concepts of time, space, cause and effect. Not that we can live without them.
Scariest of all, perhaps I reshaped the whole event in my memory. Perhaps I only remember saying the number out loud. Nobody else was there to hear it. What if my mind experienced a false impression of premonition, followed by a false recollection? It could happen — and it has.
Perhaps some other explanation not thought of before. Seasoned programmers will recognize this category of explanation — when things can’t be explained, things are not what they seem. Maybe there’s more to the story than we know about yet.
My postmodern mind is almost equally intrigued by each of these hypotheses.
Maybe it’s a combination of more than one of the above. Or, depending on the world you’re inhabiting, all of them.