A couple nights ago, I was thinking of languages. I was remembering talking to my mom in Chinese while we were at Border’s, and how in all likelihood those around us couldn’t understand what I was saying. It still seems wondrous and amazing to me, how a certain set of sounds can be complete gibberish to one person, and a fully intelligible train of thought to another. Language remains a subject that continually feeds my curiosity. These sounds that evoke, express, connect, and bind…when you think of all that language does, communication becomes such a less important function. It is what allows us to connect to the world, giving titles to objects, actions, events, expressions. Language has culture, quirks, personality, complexity, both logic and emotion.

Fascination. I love it.

I’ve had a sudden surge of memories. Reminders, at once vague and sharp, hints of dreams I had when I was much younger, unfocused images…all seeming to come together now. The parts that make up the whole. I don’t know why, beginning at such a young age, I craved the feeling of helplessness…of getting sucked into dark alleyways and the trouble that awaited within. Why I would become aroused (though I didn’t know what it was I was feeling then) by images of being captured by villains or monsters.

The greyscale images still evoke the same emotions and reactions, now more subdued by time. Sounds, as well. I was reminded of how strongly I reacted, the first time I heard “Torn,” sung by Natalie Imbruglia, on the radio. The melody, the words, and most especially these words:

I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I’m ashamed
bound and broken on the floor

Writing of basements, in another, private entry, has reminded me of my own childhood one: a dank, grey, unfinished basement which has since become carpeted, painted pale orange, and furnished. No more little mountains of boxes packed haphazardly…no more dangling spiderwebs that, inevitably catching in my hair and face, caused tremors along my skin. That basement was both playpen and dungeon. Toys were abundant, and my best friend and I spent endless hours finding treasures there. And yet, there was always an underlying dread, that primal fear of darkness and the unknown, that pervaded our senses. It was always with an internal sigh of relief that we ran up the stairs, reemerging into the sunlit world.

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