Friday, March 16, 2012

The little moments in this anomaly of life. Touch, a review

There's been something on my mind for a while, something that would be considered almost a nonissue to some, yet could potentially seem life-and-death important to others. How life works.
As a child, I had a gift to understand words. It was how I was able to get straight-A's in spelling and understand what words meant. It's what enables me to understand what I read and what I type. It's how I learn about the world- through written word more than anything else, except hands-on. Yet as a kid, I hated numbers, I would find out eventually I have a form of dyslexia for numbers, called discalculae. No one in my family's familiar with that term, so no one could understand why I was great with words (in the 5th grade, my reading level was already in the college level) yet terrible with mathematics while my brother was the exact opposite. I felt that the public education system was always trying to force me to be like everyone else, something that's never ever worked.
With the opening of Touch, a young boy explains how the world works with the universal language of mathematics, focusing on patterns and how they're everywhere in life yet only a few people on the planet can see them. Then he reveals the exact amount of time he'd been alive, then throws the punch- "In all that time, I never spoke a single word." From there, this episode seems to be a sequence of little moments that, at first, seem disjointed while showing the realities of life, including social prejudice when it comes to autistic children ("Your kid should be locked up in a cage!" "What'd you say!?"). And yet, there's another plot going on, literally around the world dealing with a lost phone that, while the owner's trying to get back because of the photographs on it, other people are using it for their own solicit gains.
The boy, Jake, has a beautiful talent with numbers, seeing them in many numerous ways yet using them in specific ways. When his father starts seeing a start to the pattern, he starts to wonder what his son is seeing altogether.
The phone subplot could be a plot all on its own with how people are shown to have disconnected dreams and different backgrounds of life, yet are all connected in some way or another, whether in life or through an unseen connection in life.
Life may seem trivial to many. Like a cruel cosmic punishment for simply existing. Like it's trying to push you to your own extreme edge with loss, confusion, pain. These Jake's father is seen to suffer, yet he never loses hope, even when he's on the brink of losing hope with an agency. And an agent in said agency finds out Jake's talent when he reveals a number he couldn't have known but is familiar to her. Then, moments later (show-wise), that same number ends up in what seems like a chaotic mess, only for that chaotic mess to end in hope for someone else eventually. I once read recently a short story of a man talking to God about how bad his day's been and asks where God was. Post-complaints, God reveals what all He was doing for the man. Even in when it seems like tragedy, it doesn't mean there's nothing dealing with God in it.
And one of the hardest emotional scenes deals with a teenage boy in the Middle East being forced to wear a suicide bomber's vest. With that one man's phone as the battery for the vest. The boy gets a call to let him know the phone isn't his and he needs to give it back. The boy reveals that it isn't his fault, he's not a bad person he has a dream and almost believes it lost when he's given a chance to achieve it. The way it plays out, even though you can very well guess what's about to happen is tear-jerking anyway. The boy achieves his dreams, the woman who calls him has helped him, and everyone who's had a connection with the phone has had more than just connection by touching the phone, they just won't realize it.
Young Jake reminds me of the character Holden from Karen Kingsbury's book, Unlocked. People see him differently, don't understand him, even when he has a close connection to the world around him, just differently than we would expect. I've never been tested for it, though I have a few suspicions about having Aspberger's Syndrome, a high-end autism disorder, which explains how I miss certain social cues, get socially awkward, yet in my own little world, I see everything immensely different. How something is simple to most can be difficult for me to grasp and vice versa. Jake doesn't speak a single word in the episode, yet he helps immensely with connecting people in unseen ways through the use of what I once loathed with a passion, helping me understand (and remember) that mathematics isn't strictly formulas and basic structures with a couple symbols and whatnot, but something I can understand more easily- a pattern within life.
The creator of the show has gone from showing how evolution can make people have unique powers once only in comic books to how God is in life from looking into its bizarre complexities that we can NOT escape from, no matter how hard we try.

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