Stan was always quite the observer. He had a knack for noticing details others around him were either oblivious to or barely aware of.
Stan, I thought that the color of Stevie's old house was green.
No, dude, it was more of a greenish blue.
Stan was often called upon to settle bets at parties, like what was the color of that little smoking hot dress Tana wore at the club last week? did DJ Toke use four or five turntables last Friday night?
Once, during an exercise in a psychology course back in his college days, a man ran into the lecture hall, nabbed Rebecca's purse, and dashed out. The professor asked everybody to describe the faux purse snatcher and what he was wearing. Everybody got it almost completely wrong...except Stan.
A red sweater and stone washed jeans. Oh and he had a golden sort of watch on.
Very good, Stan!
It was no shock to Stan that he noticed something quite unusual on the sidewalk that nobody else did that sunny Tuesday afternoon. He was on his way back to the office after a lunch of pizza and salad at Zito's down the street. Amidst the grey, droopy, suited and heeled usual crowd of working denizens Stan caught sight of a strange man at his two walking in the opposite direction. The individual was wearing a dark brown - almost black - fedora and he was adorned in a ruddy, torn at places, black jacket. He didn't exactly have a beard but the sparse rug he was sporting on his face indicated that he hadn't shaved in at least a week.
Stan continued to watch this man as he indiscreetly bent his head down slightly, opened the left side of his jacket, and mumbled something into it as if he were some kind of secret service agent conversing with a hidden microphone. To his dismay, Stan was not yet close enough to even begin to make out what the strange man had said.
Stan sighed and looked up just in time to see the world around him shift. Suddenly the crowd was a bit different. Some of the people were different. Wasn't that black woman in front of him a second ago younger than she is now? That large man that had been walking next to him on his left now looked about twenty pounds lighter. Most alarming was the urban scenery in front of him. That pasta restaurant! Wasn't that supposed to be along the street he was walking on - Broadway - not across the street on Fifth? And didn't the background color on the sign of Lou's Deli used to be more of a salmon color, not the fire engine red it is now? The tall Global Corp building at Broadway and Market! - didn't the tint on its windows used to be more of a bluish green?? Now they're just blue!
Stan looked to where the man had been. He was gone. Stan looked wildly around and barely caught a glimpse of the man disappearing around the corner behind him. He had something to do with it! He must have! He did something that changed everything, but what?
After the man was gone Stan suddenly felt weird. The memory of that strange unshaven man began to get away from him like a slippery dream in the morning. He fought hard to keep the memory alive, as if it would be the most important thing he would ever do. Fedora...not shaven...ruddy jacket...
"Did anybody else see what just happened?!" Stan shouted, not knowing what else to do. A few people shot him some brief quizzical stares, but continued on their way.
"There's a noticer in the crowd!" said a voice somewhere behind him. It was a more or less calm voice, even though it had a definite sense of urgency to it. Whomever said it thought it was important, perhaps only to somebody right next to him and not the entire crowd.
Before Stan could turn to see who had said it, he felt a slight prick on the back of his neck at the base of his skull, as if he had been poked by a tiny needle or bitten by a small bug of some sort.
Very suddenly, Stan thought that walking out in front of that white delivery truck that was careening down the street next to him was a marvelous idea.