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He didn’t remember the moment when, exactly, he discovered that he liked putting larger things on smaller things. (For example: shampoo bottle on the soap, new soap bar on old soap sliver, just to use examples from the bathroom.) He was not sure, even, if there was an actual “moment when” at all, since each time he did it -- which could have been as many as six times a day -- he was somewhat aware of what he was doing, and so the discovery might have been gradual, an incremental, though unconscious, acknowledgment of what he was doing. So the real discovery might have been not when he noticed that he liked to put larger things on smaller ones, but when he finally noticed that he had been noticing, for some time, that he liked to. 

To say that he liked putting larger things on smaller ones is kind of funny, since he didn’t even notice it for so long. It seems odd to say you like something if you don't even know about it; but since he did it, he must have liked it, or you could say that he liked it. The truth was, he just did it. It just happened like that: a dictionary on top of a magazine, a loaf of bread on a can of soup or a block of cheese, pencils ended up under folded towels, the portable phone barely balanced on the back of the cellular. Once he had discovered that he liked to do this, he not only became aware that he did it, but he also remembered countless times when he had done it, and been aware of doing it -- the vacuum cleaner does not naturally balance on the bucket -- but still, those other times, he had not caught himself being aware. He had not discovered that he did it. After he discovered it, whenever that was, he could say to himself, you put larger things on smaller ones, whereas before he would not have said that, would not have thought that. Before he would have noticed himself doing it, but not known, or had a name for what he was doing. He simply had not said, ‘you put larger things on smaller ones.’ He had not had that conversation with himself. In fact, discovering it was less a discovery than a verbalizing of what he had noticed before, but not remembered, and once it was verbalized it had permanence, and became a sort of law or rule, and was truer than it had been before. 

He could never, after the discovery, decide why he did it, or if there was any practical or aesthetic reason for doing it or not. It was somewhat absurd, though not to the point of real eccentricity or pathos. It was obsessive, but not that obsessive, not obsessively obsessive. Once he knew that he did it, he did not have to do it (though not doing it did not lessen the fact that it was something he did). He would start to drop his jeans on top of the laptop, then sometimes not do it, just to show that he knew what he was doing, and could not. More often he paused, then did do it, laughing silently a little, or out loud even, or just smiling slightly, as if he had caught himself doing something naughty, caught himself up to something, with his fingers in the pie, so to speak. 

Even after he verbalized it, he still forgot it sometimes, but he would remember more often than not, and say it to himself again, so as to not forget. When he had not forgotten it, it could help him, sometimes, to find things. His keys were lost, one time, and he was looking around, rather frantically, in all the likely places, and then remembered, bigr on little, stopped, picked up the bananas, and was on his way. 

It was, he often thought, the one thing about himself that he had learned with certainty, that seemed to be true on a regular basis, and that he did not doubt. It was a small thing, just something he liked to do, but when he thought about it, it seemed important, like there was something larger balanced on top of it. He liked to remember it not only when he lost something, but when he did something foolish, or inexplicable, or when he didn’t know how or why he had gotten himself into some precarious position, like agreeing to do something he did not want to or could not do, or lying to someone when it would have been easier to not lie, or refusing, for some reason, something that he would have liked to have accepted. He would, at times like these, remind himself that he didn’t know why he did some things, but maybe he was somewhat aware of what he was doing, and maybe there was some pattern to the way he did the things he was doing, and maybe he was noticing the pattern, and maybe someday he would discover that he had been noticing, and then he would know what the rule was, and he would say what the rule was, and remind himself of the rule, and he would eventually know the rule, and the rule would be a law, and the law would be the truth. 

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