Perhaps it is just paranoia. It is certainly paranoia and it is very likely to be only paranoia, but paranoia would not be paranoia if it thought it was alone. My eye has been being caught on cars with one dead headlight for the past month or so now. Yesterday it was raining and I drove for maybe an hour or so on streets that were not too busy and yet I counted seventeen cars with one headlight out. Thankfully they were all on the other side of the road, had I noticed one following behind me at any point that certainly would have “driven me over the edge” so to speak.
I suppose it all comes from a search for meaning when there is no meaning to be found. We seek patterns that are not there to answer questions that only exist in our own heads. The question that was on my mind was, “why am I seeing so many cars with one headlight out?” The real answer was probably just because that is the way that it is. Headlights burn out, people do not always bother to replace them. But that answer is not satisfying however true and accurate it may be. There is a part of my brain that wants there to be meaning in it and to somehow relate it to myself. I thought perhaps my one of my own headlights is out and so I checked but both were working fine. I thought perhaps it was a sign that one of my headlights will burn out soon and so I have been checking every time I get in the car now. I thought perhaps it was an omen, but what could it be warning me about?
Nothing. It is not an omen, it is just an observation brought to my attention from selective perception. But still I wonder why one headlight out and why was it seventeen cars that I saw today? Seventeen is a number I do not know how to make anything of it. It is a prime number after all which can make it difficult to work with. If it was thirteen I could know that it was unlucky and that it was an omen, but seventeen holds no meaning to me. It is one, a lonely number, and seven, a lucky number, but together that does not mean anything except maybe some kind of luck from being alone? It almost looks as though they are winking, if cars had faces. A knowing wink. Perhaps I fear what they might know.
Or perhaps they are driving through life with one eye closed. willfully missing out on so many of the sights they could be seeing and failing to ever perceive the true depth of things. If I were doing the same, I would certainly want to know by having the world tell me. But of course that is not what is happening. The headlights are just out because they are out and nothing more.