An affluent suburban neighborhood, afternoon.

A: Do you see that house?

B: The red house?

A: So you do see it?

B: The red house. Yes.

A: Between the vaguely blue-ish house and the drab grey house?

B: What grey house?

A: That one, right there.

B: That’s a drab grey house?

A: Yes.

B: No, I wouldn’t say “drab” is correct.

A: What is it to you?

B: Stately, I’d say.

A: How … but … don’t distract me.

B: I’m only saying that for a grey house, “drab” does it an injustice.

A: We can leave that for another day. You see that house to the left of it.

B: Our left?

A: Yes. Sorry.

B: Red?

A: Red. [Pause.] Was it always red?

B: I can’t recall I time when it wasn’t.

A: Not … yellow?

B: I think I would have remembered that.

A: A yellow house turning red?

B: I think I would notice a house appearing in the neighborhood as if from out of nowhere in particular. Even the slightest change can do that to a house. A house could be rendered completely alien with the addition of a shrub or the subtraction of a lawn jockey. Pretty soon you forget what was there before revisions. [Pause.] But the red house … the red house does not seem very special to me. But you claim in place of the red house was one that was yellow.

A: Yes, yellow. [Pause.] And, if memory serves, two stories as opposed to the current three.

B: Maybe that is your trouble. Maybe that is what set you off. It’s like a ripple effect in a pond.

A: Don’t make fun.

B: Why would I make fun? Perceptional erosion is a serious issue.

A: What can be done?

B: Very little, I think. A life of adjustment and endurance for yourself, forbearance for everyone else.

A: And you see no change?

B: It can’t be helped.


A: Maybe you’re thinking of the blue house as being stately. I think it looks quite elegant.

B: I don’t see them as being similar. [Pause.] Maybe. [Pause.] Blue is not my color.

A: What is your color?

B: Red is my color.

A: Well maybe that’s it. Maybe the house is yellow and your prejudice towards red is affecting my perception?

B: I don’t think that’s what happens.

A: Is it possible? It must me so. Indeed, it’s the only plausible explanation.

B: Well, let’s find out then.

A: What do I do?

B: You tell me all the prejudices you remember and I’ll see if they have any overlap with mine.

A: Ah ha!

B: It won’t be a definite result but it will lend credence to your hypothesis. So you will get credence and that is satisfaction enough.

A: Okay.

B: Whenever you’re ready.

A: How about this: I’ll pursue a dialectic. Like, I am prejudiced towards film over television.

B: That works.

A: Am I close?

B: To early to determine, keep going.

A: I am prejudiced towards believers in God over those who don’t believe. I am prejudiced towards graduates from private college over graduates of state college. I am prejudiced towards Yankees fans over Phillies fans; but I’m also prejudiced towards Phillies fans over Mets fans. I am prejudiced towards classical blues and folk-based rock music over synthetic pop music. I am prejudiced towards men in friendship over women. In pursuing my preference towards woman in romance I show a prejudice towards Teutonic women over Nordic and Celtic women.

B: Hm. I think your hypothesis might be stupid.

A: Really?

B: I can’t give you credence.

A: Oh. [Pause.] There’s another red house!

B: Your taste has not improved since our friendship began.

A: And another, and another.

B: It may have worsened, in fact.

A: These neighborhoods are changing faster than I can remember them.

“What? Who cares?” –Me

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