Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I have an addiction to tactile sensations. You may remember my post about being barefoot...I'd like to add some thoughts to that.

I have a thing for texture. The way things feel in my hands or under my feet or in my mouth are important to me. They inform the way I respond to the world around me, the people I encounter, everything.

If you know me personally, you're probably aware of my hatred for potatoes. I hate the texture of potatoes, particularly when they're mashed or baked. They are mealy and mooshy and dry, and they spread themselves inside my mouth, caking around my teeth and tongue. Insidious and hard to dispose of. Lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and cooked egg yellows are also on my hate list for the exact same reason. Nothing to do with the way they taste, everything to do with the way they feel in my mouth. The only foods I dislike are foods with this texture.

I also dislike wearing sweaters. Why? Because of their texture. They pretend to be soft and snuggly, but really they're scratchy and constricting. They pull at my arm hairs and rub against my skin too much, like they want to take its place.

But enough about dislikes...I want to write about all the things I enjoy feeling. Crumbling dirt in my flower patch. Gloppy pumpkin innards. Slimy butter and gritty spices as I rub a turkey we're about to bake. Sticky cookie dough. The already-worn-smooth spot on the space bar of my new keyboard. Cold piano keys, waiting for me to impart my warmth before they will make music. The thick, weighty paper in old books. The demanding hardness of a trumpet mouthpiece that insists I conform my stubborn lips to its shape.

This is why I love Snickers bars and not 3 Musketeers and Milky Ways. Snickers bars have four distinct textures in one bite: smooth caramel, crunchy nuts, chewy nougat, and solid chocolate. Milky Ways and 3 Musketeers just have two rather boring textures. No fun.

I think the reason I notice and delight in tactile sensations is because I spend so much time living inside my head. I'm always thinking about something, or reading, or making up a story. Living in my head. Touching and feeling things brings me back to the real world, reminds me that I'm a part of this marvelous and endlessly variated Creation.

Maybe this is why my favorite Doors song begins with the words: "Come on, come on, come on, now touch me, baby--can't you see that I am not afraid?" I'm not afraid to experience life, even if I end up deciding I don't like particular parts of it.

1 comment:

  1. No potatoes? Awwww. But I know what you mean about texture and consistency. There are foods I reject on the basis of their consistency alone. The ones you mention (besides potatoes) are all on my hate list. Plenty more I reject for flavor, but consistency is huge for me. I won't touch shellfish because I hate the texture of things like scallops and crab. And I loathe any sort of one-dish casserole meal (with the sole exception of lasagna) because you have to keep chewing something that's all one consistency, if that makes sense, and that just makes me ill.

    I like your list of likes, though!

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