Friday, March 12, 2010

Eating is one of the less disgusting things one can do in public. This Twix bar was made as I was and you were--not like we were made but made nonetheless. It is unique in all the world as you and I are--not like we are unique but unique nonetheless. Even from its fellows in the 4-pack, it is unique. Though you or I might not detect the differences between them in our mouths, were we to study each, shuffle them and re-examine, we would find our Twix bar and know it by its unique qualities.

In this red plastic net bag are many tangerines. The label does not tell us how many tangerines are in the bag. Could we count them all cuddled together still in the bag? HOw would we know which had been counted? How would we know them as individuals without holding them in our hands? Touching them through the mesh sack, we cannot know the full experience of holding them. We see them but not entirely--there's mesh first, then tangerine. We feel them and feel that we are holding them but our experience is only an approximation of the real event. Can our hands isolate the feeling of the tangerine's skin from the plastic mesh of the bag? Within the bag, we can hold all of the tangerines at once. This is not something that would be possible without the bag. Still, we are not actually holding all of the tangerines at once. We are holding a plastic mesh bag full of all of the tangerines at once.

The man on the train completes a Rubix Cube. I witness him do it. I have seen this happen once before and that time it was done by a young man on a bus. This time, I did not know that he was working a rubix cube until I looked up seconds before he completed it. When I looked up and saw that he was working a Rubix Cube, I wondered if he would complete it while I was watching (as the other man had). Three turns later and he had, then moved the completed cube to his lap, looked to his left and then back. I looked away, wanting to see the possibly proud look on his face but afraid he would see me looking and avert his gaze, or guess my reason for looking and look back. I did not see his look of pride because I looked away. I don't know if he had one. Now when I look at him I feel afraid that he knows this, that he saw me not see him. He sees me writing and must be afraid that I am writing about him. I avoid looking up so that he will not think that I am writing about him. When I look up again, he has left the train. The young man who completed a Rubix Cube on a bus, did so in my home town. My friend and I sat and watched as he quickly manipulated the cube's sections. Though young, college age, he wore a gray suit, gray argyle sweater, leater shoes, black framed glasses and wore his hair slicked back into a fifties-style do. He wore matching gray gloves, the kind with a layer of leather that lines the palms. He turned the Rubix cube quickly in his hands while listening to music on headphones. We timed him and each time he solved the Rubix Cube in under 2 minutes. We wondered what kind of music he was listening to. Techno, we guessed. It was a crowded bus so we knew that he must know how conspicuous he was and we knew that if he had an sense of self awareness, that he would know that we and the other passengers watching him must know that he knew. He probably did know how intriguing he was. We hoped that he did not, of course. I was dissapointed when my friend told me later that she had seen him performing the same feat in a bar downtown surrounded by girls.

When I was young, I would press my two index fingers together and try to differentiate between the sensation of touching and being touched. Could my left finger feel my right finger pressing against it? Could this left finger feel itself pressing my right finger? and vice versa. The answer was usually, no. The four possible sensations that were no doubt happening: right finger-pressing, right finger-being pressed, left finger-pressing, left finger-being pressed, simultaneously registered as one sensation--one throbbing that seemed to happen somewhere both between the two fingers and in the center of each. How sad, I thought. I could feel the difference between the sensations only when I moved one or both of the fingers. Did you ever press your index fingers together and move your hands side to side to create a rubbing between them to simulate kissing? "Oooh, kissing." you might have said and this might have been accompanied by some kind of tease. At the time you did not know how similar this action was to the real thing. When you kiss, how does it register? as kissing or as being kissed? Can your mind feel both at once? What I mean to say is, can your lips feel both at once or can your brain register both at once but it amounts to the same thing. It makes me sad that we don't have the potential to feel the quadruple sensation even though it is no doubt happening all at once: lips kissing, lips being kissed, lips kissing, lips being kissed.                                      

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