Synaesthesia (II)

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Synaesthesia (II)

Ah, here we are! My destination or at least the one before I go shopping, proper – 'The Last Gasp Cafe' as I call it.

'Hello, Angela!'

'Hello, yourself.'

'Good Christmas?'

'Good? Frozen turkey, frozen water pipes and frozen out by his relatives again.'

'New Year?'

'Yes, I had one.'

'But was it any good?'

'What do you think – the parents were still there.'

'Whose parents?'

'Whose do you think? Certainly not mine.

When are you going back to the funny farm?'

'When it becomes funny ha-ha and not funny peculiar.'

There was a pause.

'Talking of peculiar, don't you like Theakstone's 'Old Peculiar' or something similar?'

'Marston's Pedigree.'

'Begins with a 'P' doesn't it?'

'Yes, and talking of pees, I need one before I have a coffee – it's freezing outside.'

And with that he made his way to the toilet.

'Angela,' he said to himself, 'has a nice lemony flavour to it, with a tinge of Apricot'

'Hi, Mike!' said a figure coming out of the loo.

'Hi, Ken!' he replied (That's a nice walnutty name isn't it – perfect for this time of year, just like Chris, with its chestnutty feel).

Five minutes later and he's out enjoying his nice, hot coffee.

'They say we're sensory amalgams but society itself is an amalgam of different inputs and outputs: Different cultures, different languages, different races – forming and reforming into new combinations, ensuring the human race stays stimulated, alive, aware and awake, through this mixing, instead of being bored to death by unchanging sameness; defended by the old minded, to keep things old – that is ensure the established, stays established and inherited control is passed on.

Words evoke physical responses in everybody as with Pavlov's Dogs and conditioning but this is self-taught repulsion and attraction. Other people don't see it as being the same thing as our confused sensory orientation, of subjective-objective unitybut it is. It's all association as with intelligence and creativity – only making connections most others wouldn't.

It's funny but this cappuccino reminds me of pink blancmange for some reason. Angela is a nice enough woman but it's Mandy, who I usually come in here to see.

'Mandy is sweet.

Mandy is kind.

And with a body like that

She drives me out of my mind!'

He coughed in a nervous way as though embarrassed at what he'd just said – which he was. If only his mother could hear him now.

'Oh well, time to go through my list and actually do what I came here to do.'

And with that, he was gone in a flash of light and maybe just a hint of minty surprise.

Uncle Dick was totally different. He became a maths teacher. He said that he was so good at it that numbers jumped up at him. Colours and geometric shapes, stood out like 3-D versions of the real 2-D things, floating in space before him, like what we'd call holograms I suppose. He also used to say that sound was a pyramid and that high pitched notes were at the pinnacle and low, bass sounds were naturally 'at the base.' He also said that the pyramid was coloured – the bottom being dark and physically heavy. As you went up it, it got lighter and lighter, going through all the colours of the rainbow (and then some), until you reached the very top which was bright and 'light,' in both senses of the word.

He also used to say that he could see everything in layers or scales, like music (He even said emotion was the same); you name it – it was all graded by opposing forms of existence, from hard to soft, up to down, inside to out, fast to slow, etc.

He further said that males were hard, rigid, spiky, crude and the feminine was marked out by being soft, round and refined. Women were fluid – melted by their own warmth, into one form or worn smooth by time and motion. Men on the other hand, were rigid crystals – separated by their cold,hard, incisive attitude to life. Women were settled – coagulated into a rounded form, like The Earth itself but men were always unsettled and unsettling (up in the air).

It's funny but he was a genius that way because I was useless at maths myself, plus couldn't tell right from left and was always getting lost as a child because I had no sense of direction.

Auntie Jane was a brilliant artist and the only member of the family to get anywhere, apart from Uncle Dick. She was a mean piano player too, preferring Blues and Jazz because they inspired her so much, with their dark, opulent colours, she said. 'Oh those rich, velvety, jazzy purples,' she'd croon, when tinkling the ivories. She unfortunately suffered from epilepsy. It was her opinion that the sheer influx of some colours, flooded her brain with so much electrical activity, that she collapsed into what she termed a mental orgasm of riotous shades. Eventually she ended up in a mental asylum because of it. I used to suffer from migraines for the same reason. Particular sounds would overwhelm me and the inside of my head would reflect Disney's 'Fantasia' – flashes of red, yellow, magenta etc.

Cousin Tom used his synaesthesia in a constructive way. 'The Great Tombola!' as he was known. He could memorise telephone books as a child – not that anybody particularly wanted him to but that was his party trick each Christmas. He was even better at doing mental arithmetic than Uncle Dick but the latter didn't care too much, saying he knew several Mathematicians who couldn't count their blessings, let alone the change in their pocket.

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