One of my favorite hobbies is memorizing poetry on the subway — the poems the MTA got the license to post. Most of them could use some work, but it’s nice to say them anyway in my mind. And then when I seen them again, I get a warm fuzzy feeling. There’s something joyous in realizing you have developed a closeness, a familiarity, a knowing with something or someone else. George Washington Carver said, “if you love it enough, anything will talk with you.” I think that’s true, including ghosts.

But it requires understanding “talk” in a less than literal fashion, while simultaneously having a literal understanding of what talking is. To abstract from a practice to the functional meanings indicated by that practice, then to find other structures that house similar meanings, and then to say “so this is like talking.” Some people are very good at the less than literal interpretation — largely people who are unhappy with the literal one, and are motivated to try and obtain a different sense of “real.” Others excel at understanding the intricacies of the literal but can’t abstract functional meaning to save their butts.

Sometimes I wish I could just lift up the divider and watch these two groups tumble into each other.