A Matter of Taste
The world of the senses lies far beyond the number five. Beyond the number six too. We are sensitive souls who like to make sense of things and often end up buried under a pile of nonsense. We have a sense of ourselves, of pride, of self-importance, and of place. A keen sense of humour, and occasionally no sense of shame when we make a joke. We sense vibrations, impending doom, electricity in the air, what others are feeling. And so on…
The five senses all work together. Lose your sense of smell and your sense of taste may be severely diminished. Lose your hearing and your sense of balance may falter. Lose your touch and your ability to feel even the ground beneath your feet might go with it. Lose your sight and perhaps you’ll see more than you ever saw with your eyes, but if you’re me your memory will be worse than it already is.
I use my eyes to take photographs. I’m not talking about peering through the lens of a camera, although that too, I mean I take mental snapshots to remember things. To locate myself in an environment, be it outside or inside my house. If I have to make a trip to the loo in the night, I never turn on the lights because I use my mental image of where everything is to navigate.
When I first meet someone, I take a pic of my initial impression, and refer back to it to remind myself of who they were, and I compare it to later snaps I take, it helps to not lose who they are beneath my own projections and to get a multi-dimensional view of them.
I like to fix things myself, and make a visual note of where all the bits and pieces were before I dismantled something… yet still there is always a piece left over once I put it back together. This internal image bank is not perfect by any means.
So, I would lose much more than sight if I lost my eyes.
I have very sensitive hearing. Apparently females have more perceptive ears than males, and a pregnant female can hear a pin drop on the other side of the world. Is this a primal survival instinct?
I prefer living in the countryside to cities and towns, as for me a noisy neighbour is a form of torture. Buildings are rarely soundproof, and gadgets which have increased stereo sound are multiplying by the year, surround sound with extra bass designed not just to wrap the voluntary listener in waves of vivid music, but to entertain the neighbours and perhaps the entire neighbourhood. I hate to be a grinch and kill someone else’s joy of music or movie experience… but… do I have to suffer so they don’t? Their escape is my entrapment.
I love to touch, to feel texture… which is why I don’t like shopping for clothes over the internet. My fingers need to get to know the material before I decide to commit to the relationship, as my skin will not live comfortably in something which rubs it the wrong way. If my body is unhappy, so is my mood. However I don’t like going into shops either. It’s sensory overload. Flashing lights, blaring beats, things shouting buy me trying to out-shout other things also shouting buy me, people everywhere, talking, screaming on phones, bumping bodies, smells mingling, food cooking, strange odours.
Smells are wonderful even when they are not. Memories stirred from the recesses of time by an intangible aroma. A journey in the mind aroused by scents familiar or exotic. I sometimes follow pipe smokers in the street. Don’t know why I love that spicy warmth.
And the nose knows things of which the other senses may only be vaguely aware. You can indeed smell fear, and it can warn you before you need warning. Liars are often very afraid.
I’ve never been in a sensory deprivation tank. I don’t like the sense of feeling trapped. I did used to like diving to the bottom of a pool, holding onto something heavy, and sitting underwater with my eyes closed. Very peaceful.
If I were to choose to lose a sense, which would be a senseless thing to do willingly, I think it would be taste. My taste does less for me than the other senses… yet perhaps it does more than I realise it does. Perhaps its gifts to me are unappreciated.
My mind tells me what to eat, my body tells me what not to eat. Many of the foods readily available these days don’t really taste of anything, not like food once seemed to taste. Those apricots allowed to naturally grow and ripen on the tree in the Sun, which I used to climb the tree to eat and fight wasps for when I was a child… they were succulently sublime. Apricots these days tastes like pulpy water… even the organic ones.
What sense would I choose to have enhanced to super power levels… do I have to have such a thing, can’t all the other senses just benefit a little bit more from the missing one. I don’t want a super power, because I have a heightened sense of the ridiculous and it told me that humans with super powers are even more dangerous to themselves and others and the world than humans already are.
And besides, we all already have super powers, but we call them something else so we don’t want them, we want what we don’t have… bigger, better, new and improved. Laser beams shooting out of the tips of our fingers so that we can incinerate those we don’t like… I wonder if anyone will survive the fingertip laser beam trend?