Coming To Your Senses

by Jake Block

One night over coffee, a group of my friends and I were talking, and eventually the topic came around to death and just what we would actually miss if we died tomorrow.  There was nothing we could do about it.  We all die, and then we begin the “great abstinence,” and I thought about what it would be like to spend an eternity remembering what having five senses was like, and the things that excited them.

So we sat in silence listening to music, and thinking about each of our senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.  We limited our musings to those five, as they are pretty much universally accepted.  We didn’t consider emotions we would miss or any metaphysical aspects of death, and limited the conversation to just these.

Needless to say, the lists we came up with were individualized, and told us something about the others in the group, and ourselves as well.  So think about it.  What one thing for each of your senses would you choose to be the one thing you could remember with crystal clarity during your own “great abstinence?”  Mine were:

Sight:  I thought about what I like to see, from the beauty of a sunset to the female form, to what I see inside my camera’s viewfinder before I press the button and take a shot.  But somehow, none of these spoke to me as something that would stimulate those senses forever.

I finally decided that I would like to see the view from my driver’s seat at night on a lonesome highway, with the blue dashboard lights glowing softly in the dark and seeing through the windshield, one set of tail lights, far off in the distance, always ahead and always beyond my reach.  It’s at these times in traveling that I have always felt the most comfortable, being on the journey, but never quite there.

Sound:  We live in a world of sounds, with some being harsh and grating upon our ears, like a jackhammer splitting concrete below our window as we try to sleep, and some as soothing to us as a cat purring or the sound of birds chirping in the trees outside.  I thought of the sound of a woman’s high heels clicking on the pavement or tiles as she comes into my arms… rhythmic and evocative, with the promise of an erotic and sensual night to come.

But my choice was the sound of Procol Harum doing “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”  The song was layered with musical textures and images that always set my mind in motion.  Eternity hearing it would not be that bad at all.

Taste:  A thousand foods, a thousand tastes… ambient tastes in the air… the taste of a woman’s warm skin; so many excellent choices.  Only one fit could fit the bill completely.  In the end, it came down to a choice of two:  Bourbon and Rock Salt Cooked Prime Rib or a fresh, hot cup of Columbian Supremo coffee.  

Most of the time, you will find me with a cup of coffee in my hand, and this choice was one that most people had figured for me.  An eternity without coffee?  I think I might have to pass.

Smell:  Jet fuel.  No question about it.  The smell of jet fuel wafting through the air is something that was with me in some of my most memorable adventures.  I came to associate it with going and doing and a touch of danger that I knew was inherent in the career I chose.  Soon that scent would lure me to another plane where my crew and I would load up and be on our way.  We never really knew what we could find when we got there, if we even knew where “THERE” was as we set out on our journey.  But we would handle it together.

Touch:  For me, this proved to be one of the more difficult of sensations, because i enjoy touching THINGS… anything that has a texture can stir my imagination and set my mind off in all kinds of wonderful directions.  I recall the feel of a cat’s fur, or gritty sandpaper or shaving cream.  I recall the feel of my lips touching those of another, first with softness and more firmly as passions rise.

Have you ever felt the silkiness of a woman’s thigh in a pair of sheer stockings?  It’s soft as hell and erotically charged with hopes and expectations.  But as your fingers reach the top of those stockings on your lover’s lovely legs, that instant when your fingers transition from the silken smoothness of nylon to the warm and softly giving texture of her flesh… that does it for me.   I could easily enjoy that as my sensation of touch during my “great abstinence.”

There are my choices.  They may or may not resonate with you, and that’s ok, because as individuals, we all have our own likes and dislikes, and none more profound as the ones that make us tick.  So when you’re lying in the darkness, perhaps drifting off to sleep, think of those things that you would miss and what you would choose as ultimate sensations to your five senses.  You might be surprised at what you come up with.


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