Five Facts about Facts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

1. My mother saved many of my old worksheets from one or two of my elementary school years, which is why I know that when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, we had to do a worksheet in which we differentiated between facts and opinions.  We also had a unit on different advertising methods-- the bandwagon approach, celebrity endorsements, etc.  What we were expected to do in Language Arts at that young age astonishes me now.  This was a public school in a not-well-off area.

2.  My recently-turned-four year-old sits on the potty and demands an audiobook.  I tell him that he needs to sit and think for a moment, that he's just thrown a hard ball at my face without thinking and he needs to slow down.  He retorts, "I don't want information about myself!" Then asks, "Is that information?"  I tell him that it is.  His brain is working on a lot of things, which seems to make it harder for him to control his body.  Later at the museum, he reads me a sign about an island-- having somehow taught himself to read in the last month or so-- but pronounces it "is-land."  I tell him what the word is and he tells me that, no, it says "is-land."  Outside at the museum, he asks me to play bad guy.  I am a super villain who is wreaking havoc, which he can fix with his robot hands.  Finally, I run out of ideas for havoc, and when he asks me what problem I will cause next, I sit on a large rock and tell him, "I've turned into a rock."  He says, "Don't cause problems with yourself.  Cause problems with the world."

3.  Then there's the time Amanda and I got drunk in graduate school and conflated two nineteenth-century novels, retelling the plots to each other in a folie a deux of misremembered narrative.  A grad student a deux.  A folie a whatever you call the shared mind that close female friends move in and out of, Jesse laughing at us from across the table.  (Nevertheless we persisted.)

4.  Ghosts.  I would like to speak to someone who has seen an actual ghost.  Most of mine are vivid dreams or confusions upon waking.  Even many of the stories recounted on the show Celebrity Ghost Stories seem to me to have been particularly vivid dreams.  Some involve voices coming through telephones.  But there was one that featured an actor and his wife on a bike tour of Ireland.  They stopped to walk around a long-abandoned village, interacting with people who, they later learned, were no longer there.

5.  Most hotel rooms feel haunted to me, but this may be because I am an "intuitive" who picks up on lingering energy.  There are two kinds of people in the world, and one of those kinds uses the word "energy" in that way.

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