I have been thinking a lot about touch lately, and I would say it gets weirder the longer you think, but that's not true. It's weird to start off with, and when you reach the conclusion that there is no one single conclusion to be reached, that is what's weird.

The aspect of touch that I refer to specifically, is started with a freakish interest in cold hands. If you touch an inanimate object, there is only one network of nerves the stimulus is sent through: yours. It's one sensation. The desk isn't feeling anything. The desk is not translating a nerve response into a feeling. You put your hand down, and your brain says "Hm, you say a hard, flat object? About level with your hip? Must be a table."

When your hand is cold, put it on your warm knee or arm. Your very own for this part. Your brain will tell you 'cold hands'. Right? Well, the truth is that there are actually two separate sensations that your brain is rapid-fire combining - (A) warm arm feels someting something cold touching it and (B) cold hand feels something warm under it. Again, one neural system, but this time there are two separate sensations. These two separate responses, incidentally, are really hard to separate. Want to try? Concentrate on your hand. Does it feel a solid warmth? Wait until it does, and then shift to focus on your arm. Does it feel the cold fingers? Shift back to the hand. For some reason the sensation of 'there is something cold touching me' is stronger in your arm than 'I am touching something warm' in your hand.

This may interest you only mildly, (if at all), but I find this fascinating for some bizarre reason: Is it because your hands are too cold to feel properly? I like to think that it's more than that. Is it because your cold hands are numb? Is it because cold is a more shocking sensation than warmth? Maybe it's because the touch gives more to the touched than it takes from the toucher. (That is so sappy) I don't know.

Touch someone else, and it's back to one sensation again. Only this time, it's two nervous systems, two networks processing the data. One for you. One for him. Two, but only one moment of contact.

I will shut up now.