Have you ever played one of those mind bending "what if?" games with someone? Ya know, you're passing the joint and you get to talking about weird shit? Or have you, like me, just pondered strange stuff on your own as you looked longingly at your stash box and tried to swallow down a cheap beer? Well, I have done the latter a lot lately and something I came up with was this: if you had to give up one of your senses which would it be? Smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch or speech? Without hesitation I chose speech.Why?
Well, my most important sense is hearing. That's a no brainer. While it makes communication infinitely easier that's not the reason I would never choose to give it up. Nope. I'd never give up the ability to hear because I couldn't live without music. Couldn't do it. "Oh, I can't hear anymore? You got a gun handy so I can stick it in my mouth? Sorry about the mess. Bang." No question. Take away my hearing and dig my grave.
My next most important sense is sight. I don't cherish it as much as hearing but I don't know how I'd handle never seeing a sunset again. I don't know what kind of life I'd be living if I couldn't see the afternoon sun streaming through the bright green leaves of spring. If I couldn't see the moon? Forget about it! I also know it would hurt like hell to not see my young cousins grow up. That would gut me. So, no, not willing to give up my sight.
Next most important is probably touch. And this is because I think daily life would just be incredibly difficult if I couldn't feel what I was touching. Can you imagine trying to use the bathroom if you couldn't feel? Or wash dishes or drive a car? I don't know how I'd function if I couldn't feel. And the biggie of touch is typing! I couldn't make it without that. I guess it's possible to learn how to function without feeling but I'm not willing to go there.
Smell and taste are up next. I put them together cuz, well, they just go together don't they? Peas and carrots, chocolate and peanut butter, toast and jam, smell and taste, see a pattern? While I would greatly miss the smell of rain and the smell of bacon frying I'd be much more willing to give those abilities up than others but there is another sense I would sacrifice in a heartbeat. And that's speech.
I've got very little use for the ability to speak. I don't like to talk all that much. In recent years I did most of my talking when I was stoned and now that's past and I'm back to talking only when absolutely necessary or when reunited with friends. I don't get to leave the house very often and I have only a very few friends to visit anyway. And, even when I do get to visit with friends, I talk for a little while to catch up and then I'm all talked out. When I was very young I virtually stopped talking for over a year. I did the baby noises thing and was starting to say a few words and then my sister was born and I stopped talking. Just like that, barely a word for a long time. I would answer a question but that was it.
And then, one day, I started talking in complete sentences expressing complete thoughts and ideas. So, clearly, while I wasn't talking I was still comprehending, I was still thinking and learning and growing. I just didn't feel the need to tell anyone about it. Later that night, as my Mom tucked me into bed, she asked me why I went so long without saying much and my answer was pretty simple: "I didn't have anything to say." I have no memory of any of this because I was too young. But I totally understand because I still feel that way. If I don't have anything important to say I don't talk. To me, speaking is necessary when answering a question or when expressing something important and that's it. It certainly isn't enjoyable or fun; it's almost a necessary evil sometimes.
There is one problem with this whole idea of giving up the ability to speak: I guess the ability to sing would go along with it. And that would seriously suck. I love singing, I love to sing! And I'm pretty damned good at it if I do say so myself. And I do. I can't sing like I could when I was a teenager. After all, I've smoked a lot of weed since then, had chronic bronchitis for a number of years and developed allergy induced asthma. And, to top it all off, I haven't done a scale since the day I graduated high school. There's also the sad fact that I haven't had much reason to sing about in the last few years. So, no, losing the ability to sing wouldn't make for too much of a change in my life. But I would still miss the hell out of it because when I feel like belting it out, and I really can, I love it.
If I was a nun-type person who took a vow of silence I don't think my chosen god would accept it as a virtuous decision as keeping silent isn't difficult for me, not in the least. I can happily go hours and hours and hours without saying a single word if given the chance. I'm just not a vocal, verbal person. Nothing infuriates me more than those individuals who, for whatever reason, talk incessantly. It's a waste of energy and incredibly irritating to boot. I don't waste words and I nearly always say exactly what I mean and nothing more. I don't play head games because they're all essentially games played with verbal tactics. And those things hold no interest for me. I say what I mean and there's no point in reading anything into it because if I had more to say I would just say it and not make you guess. Period.
As I've gotten older, harder and meaner I've become more like that in my writings. There aren't any hidden meanings, no insinuations, no intimations. There's no reason to read between the lines because there are no lines to read between. I don't play games and I don't employ much subtlety. I don't tolerate bullshit and I don't serve it up. I've got lots of ideas, opinions, questions and just outright blatherings to share but the internet is my chosen method for communicating these things. I love words, I love words! But I greatly prefer them typed and spell checked.
What sense would you be most willing to sacrifice?