Abed with a blank canvas

sick-in-bedThird morning of waking up feeling ok then having to go back to bed within 30 minutes. My first reaction is to be pissed. I mean, just look at this marginally unkempt kitchen. There are at least eight dishes in the sink and those counter tops aren’t wiping themselves down.

Yesterday I didn’t have the energy to roll over and open mail. Today I am sitting up. That’s one for the plus column. There are potstickers from Trader Joe’s® in the freezer, dumpling sauce in the cupboard and cooked sesame cabbage in the fridge that didn’t get eaten yesterday because my yoga instructor wife picked up an extra class last night. That’s dinner today I don’t have to cook. There’s brown sugar and cinnamon steel-cut oatmeal ready on the stove downstairs. I have a full cup of coffee upstairs that I can almost taste* again. There is unlimited tv on the internet to match the unlimited number of things I could accomplish merely by sitting in bed (we won’t rosesname names, Unfolded Laundry). While sitting in bed I could lament the things that I can neither reach nor feel the mojo for fixing, or I could look at the beautiful roses my wife brought me yesterday when she came home between classes to cook lunch. That’s an easy baker’s dozen of reasons in the plus column, and only one nagging one in minus’ side.

Sitting in bed gets boring and makes a natural type-A like myself go a wee bit butternuts, but at least I know I won’t self-medicate the petulant child in me with food. Anosmia is a good dietary impasse when all you want to do is savor that chocolate truffle you got yesterday with the roses. Hold on, let me pause for the pertinent asterisk from above:

*It’s probably best I don’t cook dinner when I can’t taste anything, n’est-ce pas? 

250px-Shape-MITYeah. And I’ve been fortunate to not have had to; granted I still want those truffles. Oh, I will have those truffles. But back to anosmia and back to anosmia in relationship to synesthesia. When I do smell (which is generally ALWAYS), those smells are accompanied by specific shapes or textures. Cooking is nearly a painting — every flavor is an object in a composition and the final product needs to be a balance, beautiful canvas. I do not tolerate high, sharp spikes in my dishes, nor should the final product be too concave. When I can’t smell, part of the inside of my mind (does that make sense? this is yet to become easy for even science to explain) sits like a dark movie screen. Am I mixing too many metaphors yet? This is awkward to explain because there’s not a lot of applicable language to describe the sensation of “smelling a shape.” Sometimes the esq-school-lunch-kid-081511-xlgshape or texture will have a color, sometimes I just feel [something like] sandpaper on my forearm. Sounds and smells both get this strange neurological treatment. I remember being administered a word association test in the first grade that seemed to me like the stuff of tests administered in bad dreams. Obviously this was the first grade and I can’t cough up a lot of specifics, but what I remember is being asked to say the first word that came to mind when another was said. I remember being confused and unable to answer; this was a big ethical dilemma because I felt forced to lie. A word would be said, and I’d “see” a shape or color or a texture. I finally felt the most honest way I could respond was by answering in colors. I remember saying the word “blue.”

chocolate-truffles-bIn summation, I would really like to taste those truffles. I bet in addition to releasing pleasure-inducing chemicals into my brain, they make beautiful pictures. Truffles have that kind of artistic genius.

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