Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bitter Touch

"What good are brains to a man? They only unsettle him." -P.G. Wodehouse

When I was quite young, the world was a very mysterious place to me. I lived in a odd little neighborhood, a few dozen houses built around what had been, in pioneer days, a way-station on the the west river road, a place where you could get your horses tended to, before you left civilization altogether. The city sprang up around it, but there were still swamps, dumps and overgrown areas all around us. With a non-overprotective mother, I found myself on my own alot, exploring my own private Eden.

I remember touching things- stones, frogs, and plants of all kinds. When I would touch certain plants, those with feathery spines or needles, I would get a very strong bitter taste in my mouth- almost to the point of gagging. I didn't think too much about it, just about everytime was equally amazing to me at the time. Years later I learned about Synaesthesia, where the brain mixes its sensory inputs with interesting results. I've regrettably lost this facility, not even my pharmocological studies in the early 70's could recapture it. I had it once, I can still remember it, but I cannot experience it again. So is what I experience now the 'real' sensation? Or is it what I felt/tasted then? It is too late- my brain starts spinning like the rainbow disk icon when my computer has locked up- I'll go to bed and let the night shift handle that problem...

By Professor Batty



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