Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing — but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.
— C. S. Lewis, in a letter to Sarah, his godchild, on 3 April 1949
I gave notice at my job with the accountants yesterday in order to accept less reliable but potentially more interesting work. I don’t know if it was the right decision. Even though there’s a whiff of career about the whole thing, signing up to be the administrative assistant to a professional pyro, my track record of shockingly bad luck makes this move feel ominous, as if I’m getting back in line for another ride with disaster.
On the other hand, I just handed Sean my recently vacated job.
“Neil Harbisson introduces himself as the first cyborg ever legally recognized by any Government (2004). He was born colour-blind; so he can only see in black and white (Achromatopsia disorder). An electronic device implanted in his neck allows him to translate colours into sounds. The camera that hangs from his forehead 24/7 was accepted as part of his British passport photo. By that very fact, the camera became congenital and not prosthetic to his body anymore. Thanks to it, light frequencies are captured and translated into sound frequencies by the chip, which in turn sends them to his brain. He literally listens to colours with his electronic eye. A standard eye perceives light, tone and saturation. Harbisson’s organic eyes perceive light, but tone is converted into sound, and saturation into volume through his third eye.”
Tiny, mild hints of synesthesia have been slipping back into my life, like the waterproofed nylon pouches at work that smell like zippers running over my teeth or the barest trace of a taste being associated with a name, the way “Gavin” sometimes seems like a small white stone sitting on the center of my tongue. Though the experience is oddly natural, a far away corner of my brain fills with dread every time I notice it happening. To say I am concerned would be an understatement. Is this how it starts, the family madness? Are some six essential cells in my temporal lobe flickering in seizure? I do not know how to tell.
I woke up this morning with a gasp, as if surprised that consciousness had returned. I wish I could remember what I had been dreaming.