You see it all the time in books of all genres.
The narrator is going over previous events, or having the character think heavily about something. Maybe trying to piece together the clues in a murder case. Maybe trying to figure a way out of the death trap that the black-clad villain has trapped her and her companion in.
Maybe she's trying to sort her grocery list.
Whatever the case, what inevitably follows is a sentence like "Linda realized that Joe had been talking to her the whole time. 'Are you even listening to me?' Joe asked."
Then the conversation will continue.
But does that really happen?
Have you ever been so lost in thought that you haven't heard that a person around you is speaking to you?
I can't remember it ever happening to me.
Oh, sure. If you're *doing* something, I can see it happening. If you're reading a book, a blog post (like this one?), playing a game. My wife has completely missed when I've said something to her because she's wrapped up in reading something. I know I've done the same thing.
But just sitting there, lost in space? Letting your mind wander?
I've never been that lost in thought.
If I'm just thinking of something and somebody comes up to me and starts talking, or is already in the same room and starts talking, my train of thought is interrupted and I hear what they have to say. I may not *listen* to what they have to say, but I do hear it.
And then I beat them to a bloody pulp because I ALMOST had the secret to world peace all figured out, but it's all gone now because they opened their gaping pie-hole and my train of thought derailed.
Once I've dismissed them from my mind, I can sometimes get back to what I was thinking about. If I'm lucky.
And if I'm able to tune out the screaming.
Which I usually can. Though sometimes I do have to move to the next room.
I'm sorry, did you say something?
This is part of Duane Scott's "Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays" series. Head on over to Duane's page to find some more disturbed posts!
Disclaimer: No innocent persons were harmed in the creation of this post.
Not for lack of trying.