you and me – POSTCARD #6
This one was sent in by Shwell and simply had the word Qualia written on the back. I always get excited when someone gives me a new word, and this one’s a doozy.
Qualia are the experiences of sensory input (as opposed to the describable facts of such input). In the classic example, a sighted person can see red, but cannot describe the experience of such a perception; the best he can do is make an analogy (e.g., “red looks hot”) or provide informational descriptions (e.g., “it’s the color you see when light of such-and-such wavelength is directed at you.”). Simpler still, consider the impossibility of ever describing the experience of seeing color to a person born blind.
purple sky bleeding
the touch of your fingers
on my steering wheel.
I’m not supposed to be able to write poems. I made that one last week when he rode to work again. He hasn’t driven me in days. I don’t know how many. When I’m parked on the street the leaves get in my wipers and it feels bad. I think bad is when something is broken or rusted. The leaves are red. I know that word. It’s a bigger colour than mine but I’m like the sun so that makes me big too. The 4WD across the road calls me Morris. I think this is a bad name. When I cough in the cold mornings he revs my accelerator and calls me Lemon which is yellow and I think good. Good is when your tank is full and when he changes gear. More leaves fall and the big car goes into the garage. I think rust is creeping but the cold is good because maybe he won’t like the bike anymore. He gets in one day and revs and my sound is loud for him. He says Get In to the person standing at the passenger door. I keep idling while they talk. She says how much and he says a number. I’m not good at numbers but it makes her happy. They change seats and her hands on my steering wheel are different from his. Her foot is still big but it doesn’t push down hard and hurt like his does sometimes.
When she gets back in she is alone in the driving seat and I know it has changed. At first I cough but she rubs my dashboard and calls me Daisy and I think that is a very good name as we drive away.