Alessio is out of breath … but he is satisfied.
He passed the physical tests of the woman excellently, but since he is able to see himself from the outside and, consequently, to “feel” his movements… he was amazed. From himself.
His movements produced precise, in tune and pleasant sounds. They weren’t always perfect, there was some jarring from time to time, some slow down not catchy … but he has a great balance and great body control, he developed both by going skateboarding, so overall he moves pretty well.
In addition to the sound it was also the smells and flavors that delighted him. His movements had an exquisite, inviting smell and taste; sometimes the aftertaste was questionable, true, but in the end seeing himself was like eating a dessert.
And then there was the sense of touch that gave those movements a … solid consistency. Seeing them, Alessio felt as if he were holding a piece of metal in his hand: solid, hard, resistant … not very pretty or delicate, true, perhaps a little rusty, but reliable.
Now he is curious though. If these are the sensations he feels in seeing himself move on foot, he wonders what he might feel in seeing himself on the skateboard.
<<So? >> the woman regains his attention <<Have you got your breath back?>>
<<Yes … It wasn’t as difficult as I thought.>>
<<Of course, I just had to make sure you can move well, I didn’t have to kill you.>> she replies.
<<Yes but… it was easier than expected nonetheless. And I’m sure that I can do even better than this.>>
<<Good to know! Maybe it’s time to work on your brain now.>>
<<On my brain?>>
<<Yes! Since you woke up it seems that you have the symptoms of synesthesia.>>
<<Do you know what it is?>>
<<More or less. It’s like when you see a color and feel a taste, right? Like… you see red and you think strawberries. Or you see yellow and think of bananas.>>
<<Or when you see the blue and feel the cold. Does it remind you of something?>>
<< Oh… fuck.>>
The woman chuckles << Exactly! Synesthesia not only connects sight and taste, but also sight to touch. If you see red you might feel hot for example. Or if you touch something hot, you could think of the red color.>>
<<Oh no … so … you’re saying that ->>
<<Yes! You have an total synaesthesia, boy.>>
<<It’s not a serious thing, right?>>
<<Nah. It only means that your every sense is connected to another sense. So if you see an object… you feel a taste. And a smell too. And also a noise. They are all illusions obviously, caused by the brain, they are not real things … but they are very … strong illusions, let’s say.>>
<<Ah…>> Alessio looks at his hands, then looks around; he was finally starting to understand what was going on in his mind <<that’s why it’s all so strange.>>
<<Come on, don’t do that face! Artists would pay with their lives to have a total synaesthesia like yours.>>
Alessio goes back to look at her <<Why?>>
<<Imagine being able to hear the music of a painting. Or to be able to see the colors of a song. Got it? This is synaesthesia. Your brain connects everything it sees with every other sense and vice versa. Every word, every smell, every taste, every color… everything is connected. Isn’t it magnificent?>>
<<I don’t know.>> Alessio scratches his head <<I’m just confused right now.>>
<<Imagine going to a concert.>> she continues <<Generally you would only hear the music, right?>>
<<But now you will be able to see that music! As if it were a movie! So you pay for a concert, but you also attend to a movie! >>
<<Uhm… well… it’s not really like that… they are mostly colors that move at random directions …>>
<<So it’s like watching a theatrical show!>>
<<Worse. It’s more of a carnival madness. Or an mental trip.>>
<<Then why are you complaining?>> she exclaims << And in addition to what you see, there is also what you smell! If the concert is good it will smell good. And it will taste good too! It will be like eating in a luxury restaurant!>>
<<Uh … but this work also in reverse, you know?>>
<<What do you mean?>>
<<If the concert is bad … it will taste bad.>>
<<Well … yes. This is how it works. The beautiful is liked, the ugly is not.>>
<<Yeah but in this case I don’t know if is a good thing…>>
<<In general musical concerts are beautiful. And if you don’t like them you could still avoid going there.>> she comments.
<<Yes but … these things you say also work with simple words. Like you … now you’re talking to me, aren’t you? Everything you say has a smell and a taste. The more I am convinced, the more it tastes good. The less I am convinced, the less I like the taste.>>
<<And now what does it taste like?>>
<<It tastes like shit.>>
<<Ah …>> the woman rolls her eyes <<well … you don’t have to listen to me if you don’t want to.>>
Alessio sighs <<Listen, out there is full of people talking bullshit. I don’t want to taste shit every time an idiot opens his mouth.>>
<<Understandable.>> she admits <<But … by saying this you indirectly called me an idiot, or am I wrong?>>
Alessio looks her straight in the eye, and the woman holds his gaze with an expression between the investigator and the fake offended.
The two look at each other for a few seconds without saying anything.
<<Who are you? >> the boy asks once again.
<<You’re a curious boy, huh? I’ll tell you, but let’s do the mental tests first. I want to see if your brain is holding synesthesia correctly or not.>>
<<First I want to know who you are.>>
<<I’ll tell you after the tests, I promise!>>
<<What does it cost you to tell me now? You can even invent a fake name if you really want.>>
The woman raises her eyes to the sky and sighs << How many whims … names are powerful boy, inventing them from scratch is disrespectful! Come on, we don’t have too much time. >> once she said that, she looks up at the ceiling, from which a trapdoor opens and a table slowly descends.