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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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Does it speak to you?

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In my early years I thought it was normal. That's no surprise. I mean, anyone old enough to spend the night at a friend's house can tell you about the shock of spending time with that friend's family and learning how bizarre your own upbringing was. Anything you grow up with you think is normal.

When I was in elementary school one of my sometimes-friends asked me why all of the sevens were a pale yellow-orange that was difficult to read on a computer screen or a whiteboard or a piece of paper. I looked at him like he was the idiot I knew him to be. Somewhere on the other side of shoving him off his bench and him leaving a bruise on my inner thigh from an attempted kick to the crotch, we figured it out. I held up two rulers, changed the angles I was holding them at, and when they looked enough like a seven, it changed colors -- for him -- and he burst into tears.

It was synaesthesia. Just a fairly common crosswiring of sensory input. Just about everyone has some of it buried somewhere -- from scratching someplace on the body and feeling a twang elsewhere to a ringing in the ears when you look at bright lights to-- Well, you probably don't even realize it when it happens. You grew up with it and think it's normal.

I see faces. I mean, we all do. We see faces in random noise, in clouds, in treebark, in woodgrain, in complex interplay of light and shadow. But the mechanism is synaesthetic. A certain configuration of light and shadow, something eyesish and nosish and maybe a little mouthish, and *poof* we see a face. There's really no sensory connection, there.

Except for me, that's where the voices come from.

If I see a face, I hear a voice. Sometimes it just hums or goes "oooh" or "aaah", and the pitch and volume kind of depend on the size and the shape of the mouth and ... sometimes I just fill a page with all kinds of simple stick figure heads, move it around in front of me, scan back and forth across it, and listen to the choir in my head. Having fun at the expense of my own crossed wires. Sometimes I hear voices in the voices, though, starting to form words....

The disturbing part is that the more accidental the face, the more likely I am to hear muttering, words just on the edge of comprehension, a message that seems important. I know it's just noise, and accident of random wiring, but that doesn't keep me from trying to listen. The faces I can just barely make out, here one moment, gone the next -- those speak to me loudest and clearest.

And that's why I'm an abstract painter.

Tell me. Does my work speak to you?


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

13th Jan 2009, 14:12   | tags:


Dhamaka says:


18th Jan 2009, 09:49


When I see faces, sometimes I hear stories...


28th Apr 2009, 05:16