James & I are preparing to move to a 1907 four square house in Charleston West Virginia. There are many reasons I am excited about this.
- The house was built when Teddy Roosevelt was president. He is my favorite president since the teddy bear was named after him, and I also admire his stout personality and physique.
- I love Charleston. I think cities tucked between mountains with rivers running through them are the prettiest, especially when the river is crossed by blue bridges.
- I like the philosophy behind four square houses. In their time, they represented a rejection of showy refinement and European sensibilities in favor of something practical, hardy, and uniquely American.
- I am glad the numbers of my address add up to the number one. My former addresses have always added up to three. According to numerology, living in a Number One house helps you to be more of an individual. This sounds good to me, because I have definitely become whatever the opposite of an individual is. I don’t even feel like a specific person. Just a loosely knit pile of air moving through space.
My obsession while living in Hurricane has been redecorating my apartment in different color schemes. It has been disturbing to notice the extent to which my patterns and interests change along with the colors, as though I have no inherent identity of my own, but am just a reflection of the walls.
Of all the color schemes I tried, my favorite was probably light pink with dark purple accents. I felt more myself in this configuration. The only downside was being slightly lazy and obsessively reading tarot cards for hours each day. Still, I learned a lot, especially about dreams. I learned that dreams are not so much windows into the inner self, as spyglasses through which you can know the things that other people are hiding from you. And if you take the time to look, you will find that people are hiding a lot from you.
So, back to being a number one. Why don’t I feel like an individual with a specific personality of my own? I don’t know, it may be a product of living in isolation for too long. Perhaps with no one to be your mirror you lose a sense of what your own face looks like. Of course, I have James, but- in addition to being a hard worker- he is a man of few words. Most of our conversations consist of me asking him a question and then smelling him to find the answer. Or that is how they use to go anyway.
Nowadays, I mostly know what is going on with him through physical sensations. For example, he will be at the office and all the sudden my stomach will start jumping up and down so I know he is upset about something. Or my head will start swirling and I’ll know he’s having trouble concentrating. If I suddenly feel like throwing up, I can be certain someone just touched his sandwich with their artificial fingernail. He hates that.
This sort of communication has limitations though. Normally, I only know what emotions he is experiencing and have to rely on him to fill in the details. Sometimes, there will be numbers flying around in the feelings, but I am not very good at understanding what numbers mean yet. For example, I might get a sudden headache surrounded by black number fours. What does that mean? I have no idea. Also, there are a few emotions I routinely get mixed up. A form of emotional dyslexia, I guess. For example, I have always mistaken suppressed rage for passionate love. This led to much confusion in the beginning of our relationship, when I would burst into to tears because I suddenly “knew” he was dying to make love to his Uncle Eddie- the lime green feeling in the air was unmistakable. And why did he fall in love with the mailman every time our mail was delivered to the wrong address?