Granted, I live in a place that is considered to be a vacation paradise. And granted, I used to feel that way when I didn’t live here. And granted, I still do feel that way some days, but having lived here for a couple of years, many days it just feels like ‘home’ or ‘the place that I live’.
So, I was shocked today when, as I was on my way to do something as mundane as possible (in this case, getting gas), I saw a woman contorting her body in the weirdest way in the fire department parking lot. What in the world is she doing? I’m thinking to myself. And then it became clear. She was taking a picture of the fire truck’s license plate. Not even the big fire engine, mind you, but the fire truck, the one that looks like a big red pick-up truck with a decal on the door…because that’s exactly what it is.
Back in the 80’s, Dennis Miller put out a comedy record called The Off-White Album. And even at the ripe old age of 15, the raunchy, sarcastic wit on this album did not get past me. No, sir. In particular and in one segment, he made rabid fun of pot smokers and mused about a stoner pondering life’s big questions in the midst of his dazed high. In the voice of an uber-stoned Bill or Ted, he asked “How do I know that the color blue to you…is the same color blue to me.”
I remember really thinking about that and freaking myself out a wee, tiny, little bit.
And I think that we can all agree that the woman with the camera in the parking lot today proves that Dennis Miller and his stoner were really onto something. Because to that woman, the license truck was picture-worthy, exciting, something to write home about. To me – cantankerously and jaded, perhaps – it was a dented piece of metal, just a license plate.
Can any two people look at the same object or have the same experience and feel, see, hear, smell, taste and analyze it the same way? Is a rose just a rose?
I’m going with no. (And if you do some research, you’ll see that Gertrude Stein didn’t think it was either.) It’s part of what makes writing (and reading) (and blogging) (and practically everything) so exciting – there are as many interpretations as there are fingers, eyes, ears, noses, mouths and minds. The experiences may be similar, but not the same. Even without the pot.
Image credit: atomicshark