Memories: Touch changes as we change

There were touches that I found hard to take. They were, of course, the touches of punches I received in my youth, but more than that, the touch of velvet on my fingertips, which frightened me. In Poplar there were many violent touches that people received, usually the small and the young and the weak from the large and the strong and the old. Life involved more touches then, of all sorts. Virtually nothing you bought was pre-wrapped; some sweet manufacturers tried to make a virtue of their sweets being doubled wrapped, but in truth those that the shopkeeper handled (one way or another) and put into a paper bag were the best to touch.

You first could touch the paper bag, and feel the shape of the sweets through the paper. Even sweets of the same size and shape felt different, both through the paper bag and when you pulled them out. I child could never confuse the touch of a cola cube with the touch of a pineapple square.

Today there are no like pleasures. The touches of things we buy rarely meet our memories’ expectations; they are rare expectations.

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