Messing with my students’ heads, _________ it real or _________ it is you’d _________ what I do, I asked classes the following question:
Which of the 5 senses is the greatest threat/enemy to the illusion of time?
The answer, of course, is smell.
It hit me when I was walking _________ Bravo Murillo one night and listening to Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughterhouse 5 on the Ipod. In the (audio) book, the author seems to milk the metaphor of memory as time travel enough to warrant the category of science fiction. To be ________ , he does throw _________ some flying saucers and aliens, though sparsely. Vonnegut, like Frank McCourt and many other writers, puts a high premium on personal experience —on memory —as fodder for fiction. It’s a good way to steer _________ of the great common mound of cliché and rehash, if nothing _________ .
And there is a time travel element to remembering, to be ________ . So it was _________ of ironic that it hit me while I was mentally traveling along that particular narrative. My feet, ________ , were carrying me toward a Kentucky Fried Chicken, which had won _________ amid several roughly equidistant competitors in a complex calculus of taste, price, healthiness (imagine the competition!) and portability (Metro eating, ideally).
The thing is, I’m walking and listening, minding my own business on a crowded Madrid street, when I must have caught a tiny _________ of that KFC chicken. Instantly, _________ before registering the smell, I was rocketed back to Shattuck and Virginia, in Berkeley, at the age of 8 or 9 –maybe even earlier –and to the KFC that _________ to be there. Though the space/time dimension of this teleportation was keen, overriding it was another feeling. Or rather a feelings mix. All _________ the same micro instant came a layering of feelings from several visits to that KFC, from many times and thus from no particular time. Continue reading