The Case of the Contrary Stairwell

Let’s talk about weird analogies.

An analogy is an idea wearing another idea’s hat. In this way, you could compare an analogy to Jim Rash.

Similarly, you could compare Jim Rash to a giant space iguana.

And you could compare a giant space iguana to feet, because both are really gross.

And feet are the eyes of the lower half of the body, because you need to feel where you’re stepping.

And eyes are like cameras, little tiny cameras on your face. Maybe it would be more efficient to say that cameras are like eyes, because cameras came last, but the underlying idea is the same. They pan and focus and jump and sometimes, if you’re me, make you hallucinate you’re wearing shorts even when you know you’re wearing pants.

Eyes are important, especially if you’re a visual artist, because you need them for seeing things. Yeah, no, I know that sounds super obvious–“You use eyes for seeing”–but the super obvious must be stated nevertheless, because it’s not like anyone else was going to come out and say it. You use your eyes to see colours and shapes and emotions and texture and patterns.

There’s a tree in the corner of a restaurant downtown, and it spirals clockwise when viewed from above. Why is this important?

Because I ate dinner there last night, and next to the tree there’s a stairwell. It’s one of those old spirally ones from way back when, 1903, and the way it spirals is it spirals counter-clockwise from above.

I lean over and say to Kacy, “That tree spirals the opposite direction as the stairwell.” And so she stops and looks and says, “Huh. It does. I never noticed it before.”

By now all seven of us are staring at it. Bill turns back to me and says, “That’s oddly observant.” Bill is thirty years my elder and I’m not sure whether to take this as a compliment or not because while it’s always good for people to say that you’re very X or Y, as long as X or Y is a positive quality, Bill is an Actor–Actor with a big A–and I’m sure he knows the power of observation. If you watch someone for long enough you can find out anything you want about them. The idea that someone might stare into your soul is frightening. Not that I’m good enough to figure out people that well, but it was still there on the table, between the salsa bowls.

Before the silence can sink in too deep and become irrevocable, Mark, across from me, a rotund man with a jolly face and spectacles, says, “You need to get out more, Shelby” and laughs.

It’s always nice to be the target of a joke, because it means people notice you enough to attempt to destroy you.

~~La Stranezza



12 thoughts on “The Case of the Contrary Stairwell

  1. “but it was still there on the table, between the salsa bowls.”
    I really like that.

    Also, now I want to go look at trees from the top somehow so I can understand how they spiral.

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