A person peeing and a toilet flushing.
Have you ever noticed that for most overhears our brain eagerly seeks out an image to represent it?
I overhear a mom reading to a toddler, and without even seeing it I picture the child sitting on the mom’s lap, maybe even eating a cookie or treat.
I overhear a truck passing by with music blaring, and I picture what the driver looks like, including details like his pierced ear or mustache.
But guess what? Sitting next to the bathroom at the DMV (for an hour and a half) I realized there are some things I really don’t want to visualize. A guy peeing happens to be one of them. It got me thinking: what other sounds would I not want to connect with an image?
Of course there is the generally accepted, parents having sex, but what else? For me most bodily functions are off limits…. Changing a pad during a period, someone picking their nose (although I’m not sure what sound I would overhear associated with that one), and someone scratching their chest.
But the thing is that as a writer, when I create my characters, I have to imagine them doing all of these things. Why? As readers (or viewers of media) we aren’t typically subjected to these images. But it doesn’t mean the character doesn’t do them. And no, before you call my husband in concern, I don’t mean that I believe my characters are alive. What I mean is that I have to take into account the fact that if my character has a cold they will, undoubtedly need to blow their nose. And, if I have set them someplace where there is no tissue handy (like in the woods,) well then they will pick their nose or wipe it on their sleeve.
Do you remember the Amazing Race final episode where the sisters were racing for the finish line and one of them had to use the toilet, costing them the race? Was I the only person to imagine her simply peeing her pants? For some reason I am okay visualizing this. But ask me to picture her sitting on the toilet and I have a much more difficult time. Still, it was one of those rare time when as viewers we were had to participate in this bodily function that usually doesn’t make the final cut.
On the other hand, it doesn’t mean I have to force myself to visualize these things in my daily world. Certainly I can tell you that next time I visit the DMV I will put more effort into picking my seat.
Here’s to many journeys where you don’t have to sit next to the toilet for the whole trip.
Don't forget - I just published Part one of my new Free Read THE PROMISE at: http://freereadsfromthegenre-istas.blogspot.com/2014/05/Birthday-Promises.html
“What was the Cold War, anyway?”
Another snow day and this one we spent playing board games with the neighbor. Interesting, indeed, to watch two 9-10 year olds playing Apples to Apples. If you haven’t played this game before the premise is that you match cards with people, events, things, on them against a descriptive card.
In this case the girls had already played the card, Napolean Bonaparte vs the card Mortician against ‘Dead’… extra funny because whichever one threw the Mortician card didn’t even realize what they were playing. I was the objective third part judge and was having fun talking about words and meaning and culture and history.
When the card, ‘Dramatic’ came up the two cards thrown were- The Cold War vs High School. Can you imagine two things any less different but at the same time more dramatic. I think it was a draw on that one since I honestly couldn’t choose between the two.
It did lead into an interesting discussion about the Cold War. I remember growing up and having arguments with my idiotic step-brother about whether we should, in his words, ‘nuke’ Russia. Seriously! If you’ve read a few of my blogs I am pretty sure you know which side of the argument I was on. These conversations definitely hit new levels of dramatic and may be what pushed me over the liberal edge.
More importantly, I remember sitting in my family room, watching the wall fall, and crying. My conservative family thought I was crazy. It was all just politics to them. But to me it meant hope. It meant that when I saw the twin towers fall I still had hope we would find peace. And when I saw Egypt in the midst of rebellion I knew there was hope that it could occur peacefully.
Still, as I now listen to the insane rhetoric coming from Russia I am reminded that life is a cycle and everything circles around again. Perhaps this is what my parents at least knew when the wall fell. It’s only dramatic the first time around.
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