I have an odd little OCD quirk about blinking lights. Not all of them, but certain types; particularly neon signs or the display lights on machines. If the mood strikes me and it’s the right pace of blinking, I have to watch it for a couple of rotations until I have the timing set, and then look at it while it’s all lit up as long as I possibly can and then look away fast before it blinks out. I find it both maddening and very satisfying. A couple of the machines at the gym have this effect on me. Several neon signs that I’ve known and loved do it.

The Portland Old Town sign is a really good one. I was watching it from the train on my way home across the river in the dark tonight, but instead of getting sucked into counting the beats, I wondered when the nose on the deer would be turned red for Christmas. And then I had a sudden fanciful vision of the deer leaping off the sign, and bounding, glittering, across the tops of the buildings along the waterfront, lit and joyful and free.

I’m more than a little odd, but I’m fun to be around.

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