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The instant I entered the sheep house, all two hundred sheep turned in my direction. Half the sheep stood, the other half lay on the hay spread over their pen floors. Their eyes were an unnatural blue, looking like tiny wellsprings flowing from the sides of their faces. They shone like glass eyes which reflected light from straight on. They all stared at me. Not one budged. A few continued munching away on the grass in their mouth, but there was no other sound. A few, their heads protruding from their pens, had stopped drinking water and had frozen in place, fixing their eyes on me. They seemed to think as a group. Had my standing in the entrance momentarily interrupted their unified thinking? Everything stopped, all judgement on hold.[1]

I don’t know, but often this is what it feels like to just walk into a room. This phenomenon gets worse in public places – except on the Underground, where everyone tries their best not to notice anything but their stop, but that’s a story for a different time. Hell; I’m guilty of this myself. Oh, who’s that? I don’t know that person. Do I…? No… Should I…? Nah…
This way you’ll get to do the introductions after three hours of awkwardly avoiding each other’s gazes. It’s great fun. Trust me, I’ve got a degree.

Also, don’t rub your eyes after chopping chili peppers. You’re gonna have a bad time.


[1] Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase (1982; London, 2003), 219.