January 11, 2007

Personal Programming, Personal Conditioning: I See 1002 Everywhere.

Some people see the face of Jesus in a tree trunk, or Nixon in a potato, or maybe they see their destiny in the fiction of L. Ron Hubbard.

Me, I happen to see the number 1002. Everywhere.

I'm not into numerology and usually don't assign any symbolic or spiritual significance to numbers. I did want to have a lucky number back when I was a kid. Seven is the classic one, but for a personal number, I always thought four was more elemental - maybe because it's that much closer to one, the smallest whole number.

Anyway, I digress. Long story short: four is dead to me now. But I can't help seeing 1002 everywhere I look. Most of the time, it's 10:02 on a clock face - any clock face. I just look, and BAM - there it is.

Occasionally, I'll see a 10:03 or a 10:04, and once there was an 11:20 (I don't know what that was about), but these little faux pas have happened only ten or fifteen times in the past dozen years. Considering that 10:02 can be seen only twice within the 1440 minutes in each day, or up to 730 times within the 525,600 minutes in each year, it seems to me that statistically, observing that exact minute that often must put this little phenomenon somewhere outside the limits of dumb luck or random chance. (In fact, there's a 1 in 720 chance of it happening, if I were to see it each time twice per day.)

(Perhaps to be more accurate about the odds of this, I'd need to factor in an average of how many times per day I tend to look at the time. I think that would be hard.)

But none of this really answers the question: Why the hell have I been noticing 10:02 or 1002 in the world around me for the past dozen years?

Thanks for asking. Here are a few theories I have come up with:

  1. Clairvoyant dreams about which episodes of Friends and Simpsons would be on TV tomorrow no longer satisfied me. I subconsciously wanted more mystery and quirkiness in my life.
    (Likelihood: Possible.)

  2. The number has personal symbolic significance.
    (Likelihood: Getting Warmer.)

  3. I am so susceptible to suggestion that I have actually programmed myself to notice this particular number everywhere possible.
    (Likelihood: Ding ding ding! We have a winner!)

Yeah, yeah, okay. But... Why?

In the process of writing about my younger years growing up (see http://truelife.ejohnlove.com), I have enjoyed reliving memories of the times when me and my Mum, Dad and sister lived with my maternal grandfather, Ernest Huntley Clarke ("Poppy"), in his home in Victoria, BC. His address was 1002 Cook Street. Actually, the way I hear it is " Ten Oh Two Cook Street". Ten o'Two. Ten-o-too...

Maybe this is a way of my brain being conditioned to not forget a small piece of him. Every time I see that number, I do think of good ol' Poppy.

My wife is correct when she says it's kind of weird. But it's kind of cool too.