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A Slice of My Life: Synesthesia and Pizza-Flavored Words
Synesthesia is a super power that makes 2 or more of your senses intermingle. As such, stimulation of just 1 of the individual sense triggers another, synthesizing each individual sensation into one.. It’s an “all for one and one for all” situation that works out quite nicely once you learn how to work it just right. That is how I taught myself how to speak pizza somewhat fluently although, admittedly, that fluency wasn’t intentional. It just happened.
Thanks to lexical-gustatory synesthesia, my life is not only a word salad, but a word pizza, too! Lexical-gustatory synesthesia is a superpower that is bestowed upon the chosen few so that we can taste words. Nietzsche said that “those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” If you thought those people were crazy, imagine how insane they would appear if they tasted the music. Regardless of how audible those sounds were or weren’t, you might ask those crazy diamonds where you could find whatever it is that they're on. Much like how those people probably assumed that the music simply wasn’t loud enough for others to hear, I assumed that everyone tasted words. It makes sense. Words are inside of your mouth. Literally. How could they possibly lack flavor and texture?
You might not hear the music, but it's there, it's colorful, and it's delicious in its stunning diversity! And sometimes, the lyrics taste like pizza.
Synesthetic correspondences are formed during the early childhood years. As a bonafide fat kid with sweet-toothed and fast food-loving parents, a lot of the words that I eat taste like my favorite junk food from my pre-school and elementary years. Pizza was one of them, but not just any pizza. I’m talking about real pizza from back in the day, back when Eastern Long Island still had an abundance of great pizza places. When I speak pizza, I taste that excellent, rich, cheesy, mouth-watering pizza.
(Hold on, let me wipe the drool from my keyboard… )
My language of pizza has a few prominent words. Allow me to explain why the following words came to be pizza-flavored.
Rude: For a word that's so loaded with negativity, "rude" is also loaded with pizza! “Rude” tastes like really moist pizza cheese, the kind that I would rip off and eat before the rest of the slice. I can almost feel the gooey cheese snapping as I pulled the bread away from my mouth. But it all came with a price: horrible table manners. When I was young, I ate like an animal and was often scolded for doing so. You’d think that pizza would’ve been easy for me to master because it was something that I wouldn’t get yelled at for eating with my hands. NOPE.
License: “License” is one of my favorite words because it tastes exactly like pepperoni pizza. I literally taste all of the “rude” sensations, but with juicy pepperoni on top. My mouth waters in response because my brain evokes how I would squish the pepperoni between my tongue and the roof of my mouth as I sucked it dry and took in the taste like a fine wine. I have no idea how “license” got linked with pepperoni pizza, but it did. Overhearing “adult” conversations about jobs, errands, and other stuff that I didn’t care about probably started the awkward marriage between this word and the flavor of pepperoni pizza..
Tomb: This tastes like the supreme pizza that my family used to eat all of the time. Now, you might be wondering how the hell “tomb” turned into pizza. It’s not that there were cremated bodies in our pepper shaker; we used to eat Tombstone pizzas all of the time, especially the supreme kind. When I say “tomb,” II still taste that medley of sausage, olive, peppers, cheese, and crunchy crust (slightly burnt; just how I like it!). It turns every graveyard visit into a little picnic and is one of the many reasons why I visit graveyards so often, especially if I know someone buried there.
Flesh: “Flesh” has pizza cheese undertones, but also involves other tastes that I can’t quite describe at the moment.
Brain: Come to think about it, “brain” kinda tastes like pizza cheese, too!
"Brain" and "flesh" also carry undertones that I can't readily describe at the moment. The flavor profiles of my vocabulary vary and often combine multiple tastes into one.
I’m sure there’s more, but seriously: what do you imagine “tomb” to taste like?
Like Nietzsche's dancers, I know that the music is there, but not everyone is receptive to its frequencies. I think that it's louder than you think. Based on what I've heard and read from non-synesthetes, I think that synesthesia is far more common than people think. It's just much more of a spectrum rather than a binaristic state. You, too, might be have the power to speak pizza. Unlock your powers today!
#Real #Synesthesia #PowerToThePizza #LexicalGustatoryAwesomeness #WordSalad #TasteTheTomb #FeedYourHead
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