Synaesthesia Magazine Seven Deadly Sins - Page 59

Stolen Tears

by Jade Weighell

I have this condition. A girl touches her boyfriend’s arm and I feel it. Her fingers glide over my skin and I am glowing amber.

As a child I watched someone fall over in the playground and my knees stung. I cried but no one came to comfort me; I wasn’t the one on the concrete.

I’m an old man now and this shrivelled body has felt many sensations, both good and bad, but none of them my own. I have spent my life stealing feelings from others. What need was there to seek out sensory experiences when people were handing me theirs on a plate?

Sitting in my bedroom with a pair of binoculars, I can let the rainbow of human sensations trickle through me. This flat is the perfect location, being on the third floor of a block of flats. The bedroom window looks out on to a grassy square surrounded by three other blocks. This means that I can watch the people milling around outside as well as having a choice of well over 50 windows to look into.

It does annoy me that some people have nets or close their curtains just as things are getting interesting, but I just have to remind myself that there are always other windows, other sensations. I don’t own a television, radio or a computer. My life is four dimensional; I see, smell, feel, taste the image.

Over in the block on the right, two windows up from the ground floor, a girl is having a row with her boyfriend. Those two are always at it. Some would say that they are better off apart, but having lived though many relationships by proxy of others, I know better. I love it when they start fighting. It feels so good. I alternate, going from one to the other. I feel the heavy thuds of her heart, I taste the metal on his tongue, feel her skin prickle and shiver. His palms grow damp, her vision blurs, his throat tightens, the room darkens. Then I watch as the woman raises her hand to his cheek. The right side of my face burns. I look to her, and my hand does the same. I smell aniseed and he leaves.

I look elsewhere. Up there, on the top floor, I can see a man exercising. As he lifts the weights, my muscles ache and... no I won’t watch that, it’s too tiring.

Ah, there on the ground floor. A man sits down to eat his dinner. I can’t be bothered with all that cooking and chewing business. Once a month I get a load of those milkshakes that you can have instead of meals delivered to my door. I’ve got them all piled up by my chair here so I can have one whenever I feel hungry. I don’t get bored with them because I can taste all the food I like through the windows. I’ve got quite a refined palate and will sample anything, except kippers, I hate those.

I adjust my binoculars. It’s a curry. I watch him take a bite and my jaw aches, my tongue quivers, I feel the warmth of it slide down my gullet and rise up over my face. >

[left] Anders Johansson