The way we see things as people is kind of a bitch.
When you and I look at something, how do we know we’re seeing the same thing as the next person? How do we know we’re seeing this thing we’re looking at in the same way? When one person points out the colour red, is that red the same colour red to someone else? How do you really know?
If that boggles your mind, hang on – it gets trickier than that.
Say you look at a blown up image of an ordinary doctor’s waiting room for twenty seconds; are you going to see things the same as the next observer? Are you going to see as much or more than the next observer? Are you going to see what’s there, or also what’s hinted at – and how much?
One person might look at the picture and see a blue room with two people sitting in it and some magazines on a table between them. The next person might see a man and a woman in a navy blue room with a few gossip magazines on the small wooden table between them. The learned observer might come along and blow them all away, noting from their perspective that there’s a woman in her late twenties with blonde hair and a hipster style, as well as an older man with an upper class attitude and a cold. They might say that they’re sharing a freshly painted sapphire coloured waiting room for the Jensen Walk-In Clinic in Springfield; the subscription to The Inquirer on the small oak table between the two metal chairs they occupy giving away their location.
Perception is everything, and I happen to be a learned observer in a world of amateurs. I can’t help but to see beneath the surface, and it’s a curse.
No wonder most good detectives drink like fish…