The traditional five senses are sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. In this post I’m going to tell you about what I do and do not notice within these five categories.
First of all, my eyes are fucked. I’m colourblind, my diopter is around -3.5 for my right eye and -6.5 for my left. I couldn’t even get those in the same category. Pretty much everything about my eyes is garbage. My dad has worse colour blindness than I do, and even as a biologist my ‘condition’ hasn’t been all that much of an obstacle. But adding that rather bad nearsightedness, I really do have trouble seeing a bird in a tree for example, because my eyes can’t focus all that well and not being able to distinguish much of the colours to spot that little critter somewhere in that sea of green. Or brown, right now. Green or brown, makes little difference to me anyway. I notice movement well enough so when the bird flies away, I usually spot it straight away and am able to follow it when it flees. Because I ‘stare’ a lot, my peripherals are as good as my central sight, but I can’t say if I have a (literally) broader view than the average person. This is also why I don’t like wearing hoods, because they severely limit what I can notice to my right and left. I guess I will never be a Jedi, unless the cape is optional. And I guess the Force would let me ‘see’ what’s around me anyway.
Because my sight is just plain bad, my hearing does seem to be a bit augmented. I can’t really claim it outright, since I can’t compare it to others of course. Like my sight being blocked, I can’t stand it when my ears are as well. Headphones are ok, but that’s because I then have the sounds that I want pumping straight into my eardrums, when writing this for example, or gaming with friends. I have to admit there’s some feeling of discomfort not hearing the silence around me, but since I’m in my safe room at such moments, it’s nothing I really worry about. In public, I dislike wearing ear buds, because then I can’t hear oncoming cars and whatnot. Neither can I stand earplugs for sleeping or concerts. So my hate for sensory deprivation is context-dependent too. Another thing, I recently had earwax completely shutting off any sound in my left ear (cotton swabs really aren’t a good thing) and it was the worst two hours of my life before I got to the doctor to get it flushed out. Afterwards, I noticed my hearing was even better, I distinctly remembering hearing the rustling of leaves on a nearby tree so much better than before. It was wonderful, really, a whole new world opening for me. Here’s to hoping excessive earwax doesn’t become a recurring problem. But yeah, bad sight, good hearing. I’m Daredevil.
Taste (favourites: mango, passion fruit, FUCKING RASPBERRIES ZOMG). I’m a picky eater, and am not sure if that has anything to do with a possible heightened sense of taste. I remember that one time on a board game day, we ate my aunt’s nasi goreng and I thought it tasted a bit off. But the others didn’t really notice anything and my mom at the same thing just an hour before as well. I guess we should’ve trusted my suspicion after all, because we all got a rumbly tummy a few hours later. Some worse than others, symptoms ranging from just mild discomfort to actual puking. I’m still not sure what actually happened, since my mom didn’t feel anything at all. Other than that, I’m really not fond of sauces. Partly due to not being raised in a sauce-eating family, but I also think when there’s sauce on your food, it masks so much and all subtlety is quickly gone. Everything is … Sauce. I want to taste my meat AND my potatoes, not just meatatojuice. Mayonaise for my fries and tomato sauce on my pizza’s and spaghetti (though I still prefer it without) is as regular as I go. And I’m pretty sure it’s not just a matter of being a better cook, I don’t like the texture of sauce either for example. Or that of mashed potatoes. Every bite you take is the same chomp of icky goo. I don’t want a boring meal, I want variety. I was going to say ‘to be surprised’ first, but then I realized that could mean teeth and spiders in my food. I also really like to chew my food, so there’s another reason. I do love herbs a lot, putting pepper and rosemary on everything I can. I’ll even admit, I like my steak well done. Sue me.
Sense of smell. I like lemon, gasoline, pine, … Lots of things. I don’t shower everyday (if I get one law suit on my ass for the steak thing, why not just do it all in one) but I never refrain from using a well-scented shampoo, even now when I have a buzzcut and the smell doesn’t stick anymore. Again, I’m not sure if I can say that I have an excellent sense of smell, but coffee odours makes me retch (except for the Ethiopian kind), I noticed our gas leak soon enough and almost died when that can of surströmming was opened (which doesn’t tell you much actually). Fine-tuned, yes, superior, possibly. Other than that, I really like to breathe, like most normal human beings. The worst thing in the world for me is getting a cold. It’s a stereotype that men feel like dying when they get ill, and I definitely contribute to that. It’s not a matter of smell here, but just having that stuffed nose is the absolute worst thing (everything is the worst, really). Snot everywhere, sinuses clogged, sneezing, nose starting to hurt from all the blowing, … Personal hell. And I have hay fever, so guess what, I get it during summer too if I’m not careful. It takes about two seconds to get a handkerchief completely boogered, so on especially bad days I just use a towel. It’s at those moments you see me at my worst. I’m not a patient man on a good day, so my lashing out when I have a cold? Oh boy, I turn into a genuine monster. If you ever to meet me in that state, I’m sorry already. My miracle cure for a cold is honey. Honey in my tea, honey biscuits, honey whiskey. So I’m Winnie the Pooh too.
About touch… Euhm. Hugs are ok, but the social anxiety gets in the way easily. And I don’t like things crawling over me, but I think that’s pretty normal. I have pretty cold hands too, which isn’t a benefit to feeling anything, but I don’t have lepra, and the only harder work my fingers do are guitar strings and Lego bricks. I can’t really think of anything else to say on it. Who doesn’t prefer fluffy puppies over scaly stuff anyway.
Sometimes the choice is harder than you think.
QI did a thing on it, but the common knowledge that there are five senses is completely wrong. There’s the sense of balance for example, pain, seeing dead people, temperature, knowing where your hands are even without seeing them, … It comes down to your definition of a sense. To elaborate a bit on those, I’ll say that my sense of balance is absolutely horrible and that I don’t mind the cold at all, even prefer it over too much warmth (seriously, why do ice cream parlours ever close). I got no opinion on pain or what my hands do when I’m not looking.
In summary, I’m Winnie the Pooh who likes to cosplay as a Jedi version of Daredevil. I don’t have a picture of that, sorry, so here’s a piece of art I really liked.
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