<<Do you know what the five senses are for?>> she asks.
<<Er… to feel things?>>
<<Yes. They are used to understand what you have around you.>> she explains <<Synaesthesia unites your five senses with each other, and this causes a particular effect in your brain. Call it “sixth sense” if you want.>>
<< So … I have an extra sense now?>>
The woman takes the scissors from the table and puts them behind her back.
<<Tell me … are they open or closed?>>
<<Open.>> Alessio answers confidently.
<<Always open. I can see them.>>
She smiles <<Exactly.>> puts them back on the table <<Do you know why you see them?>>
<<Uhm…>> Alessio shakes his head <<not really.>>
The woman then opens and closes the scissors in front of the boy’s eyes; in doing so they produce a very loud and recognizable metallic noise.
<<For the noise.>> she then says <<When you open them they make a noise, which they repeat when you close them. This is the secret. You didn’t hear the sound of the scissors closing, that’s why you knew they were open.>>
<<Yes but … I saw them open as well. I mean … I shouldn’t have saw them. Right?>>
<<Sight is now connected to hearing. Your brain simply uses the information it has to recreate what it feels. In reality you are not really seeing them, you are just imagining them.>>
<<But I saw very well! It didn’t seem like just an hallucination.>>
<<Are you sure about that? >> the woman puts her hands behind her back <<Tell me … how many fingers are closed at the moment?>>
Alessio hastens to give me an answer to prove he is right, but he is forced to stop because he does not see her hands. Instead of them he sees only a brown spot, as if his hands have merged together …
<<See?>> the woman puts her hands back in sight <<You don’t really “see” them. It’s just imagination. But your imagination will be correct most of the time, the important thing is that your five senses are functioning well. For example, if you see a person walking, while closing your eyes you will continue to see him walking in the direction he was moving. However the image will be blurred, and eventually will evaporate. If you feel that person with other senses that image will be more solid instead, and will disappear less quickly. This creates a field of consciousness around you… a field where everything you hear you visualize as well.>>
<<S … so …>> he closes his eyes, and exactly as before the sight does not disappear <<so I have like … super senses? Something like that?>>
The woman giggles <<Something like that, yes. Aren’t you happy?>>
<<I…>> Alessio returns to focus his attention on the woman <<I don’t know. Why do I have these … “super powers”?>>
<<They are not super powers, boy. They are privileges. Privileges kindly granted by the DNC.>> she replies.
<<And what is that?>>
<<Divine Neural Chip. Do you know what neural chips are?>>
<<Ehm … I only heard about it. Are they like those chips that connect your brain with a phone, or something like that?>>
<<Exactly!>> the woman gives a little applause <<I see that you are informed, boy.>>
<<Yes but… isn’t this an experimental technology?>>
<<Just know that it is this chip that gives you synesthesia and the field of consciousness.>> she replies with a smile.
<<Uhm… o… okay.>> Alessio tries to rearrange his thoughts; he got too much information all together, he is not understanding them much <<But … but then … I have … wait. That’s mean that I have a neural chip in my head?>>
<<I don’t know.>>
<<How do you not know? You said I have it!>>
<<I don’t know if you have it exactly in your head, you may have it in other parts of your body.>> is her answer followed by a cheerful smile, and seeing her like this Alessio doesn’t know whether to get angry, cry, scream, or be afraid.
<<Who are you?>> he asks him at this point, more nervous than before <<You promised to tell me.>>
<<Oh, you’re right … well, I can tell you who you are, if you want.>>
<<What sense does it make? I already know who I am.>>
She smiles in a light and more mischievous way than usual <<Oh, really? So tell me. Who are you?>>
Alessio thinks about it for a moment. He has the answer exactly on the tip of his tongue. But…
<< I-I… >>
<<Do you at least know your name?>>
<<Tell it to me, then. What’s your name?>>
He blocks. He can’t answer. He don’t remember his name.
The woman smiles <<Let’s do a fair exchange.>> she says <<You tell me your name and I tell you mine. So? What did you think?>>
<<I-I don’t… remember my name.>>
Alessio shakes his head <<No.>>
The woman’s smile lengthens, the melody she is producing is starting to generate tension <<See? Isn’t it better if I tell you who you are? It’s more important, isn’t it?>>
Alessio takes a deep breath <<Okay.>> nods <<Who am I?>>