While I Search for What I Really Want to Post…

… coincidentally, there’s a segment on the very phenomenon described in The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book About a Vast Memory, on CNN right this second!

This is how S., the mnemonist of the title, sees a “zhuk” [Russian for cockroach.]

“… A zhuk––that’s a dented piece in the potty… It’s a piece of rye bread… And in the evening when you turn on the light, that’s also a zhuk, for the entire room isn’t lit up, just a small area, while everything else remains dark––a zhuk.  Warts are also a zhuk… Now I see them sitting before a mirror.  There’s noise, laughter.  There are my eyes staring at me from the mirror––dark––they’re also a zhuk… Now I’m lying in my crib… I hear a shout, noise, threats.  Then someone’s boiling something in the enamel teakettle.  It’s my grandmother making coffee.  First she drops something red into the kettle, then takes it out––a zhuk.  A piece of coal––that’s also a zhuk… I see them lighting candles on the Sabbath.  A candle is burning in the holder, but some of the tallow hasn’t melted yet.  The wick flickers and goes out.  Then everything turns black.  I’m scared, I cry––this is also a zhuk… And when people are sloppy pouring tea, and the drops miss the pot and land on the plates, that’s also a zhuk.”

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