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Compartment 14B

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The body electric.

2004-01-15 - 12:53 p.m.

I donít know if itís the weather lately, or maybe the clothes that the weather forces me to wear. A bit of polar fleece can, apparently, be a dangerous thing. What Iím speaking of is the fact that Iím practically electrocuting myself on a regular basis throughout the day. Static cling would be one thing, but weíre talking about science museum, hand-on-a-VandeGraaff-generator type of static buildup.

I am only getting a charge out of this in the literal sense.

The night before last I went to flip a switch in the hall and actually saw a blue spark arcing between a screw in the switchplate and my baby finger. And the room wasnít even dark. BZzzap! I did one of those shriek-while-inhaling things; the kind of gasp that, had he been in the house, would have brought my husband running to see if Iíd broken or cut off anything. My finger still tingled the next day.

I get shocks in the car. J has taken to brushing my cheek to ground me before kissing me goodbye when he drops me off at work. (One good thing about this weather is that J deems it too cold to walk so he gives me a lift.) He canít stand the woebegone and slightly betrayed look on my face when he shocks me on my lips, already sensitive from being dried out by the weather.

I get bigger shocks getting out of the car. Iím under instructions to open the door, push down the lock, get out carefully and then close the door touching only the glass. Apparently this will only mean getting a shock from the next thing I touch thatís grounded, but at least I wonít be able to blame Jís car.

I no longer dare wear flip-flops around the house as they insulate me from continuously dispersing my charge, leading to the big build-ups which culminate in painful shocks. Jís been talking about tying a grounding wire around my ankle and letting it trail behind me. Heís only half joking. And Iím half considering it. Shut up. It could be very discreet if it just stuck out of my pantleg and brushed the ground.

So, do I (forgive me) have a particularly electric personality?

Actually, I suspect I do. I was running on a treadmill in Regina, Saskatchewan last winter and I was getting major shocks every time I touched the metal frame. It got to the point where I was deliberately brushing it every four steps and every time I did there was a small snapping sound. Snap! two, three, four, Snap! two, three, fourÖ If I forgot, the charge would build up and the snaps would get a lot louder and make themselves felt a lot more. After I finished my Ĺ hour of self-inflicted torture (because heaven forbid I cut my run short just because I suspected that the machine I was on would short out and electrocute me at any moment), I mentioned to the person at the front desk that I didnít think the treadmill was grounded properly. He assured me that it was because theyíd had it checked a few months back but every now and then someone would say the same thing I was saying. Not everyone, just a random person every couple of months.

I wonder if there are others who seem to conduct electricity better or build up more static than the average person. This would be a great super power if only it didnít mean getting needled with shocks ourselves. Kind of like Electro from the old Spiderman comics, only I wouldnít have the ridiculous starfish-like mask.

I also wonder if this extra charge is what some people see as auras? Or, if not, if it would at least affect the way our auras look to those that, like a former French professor of mine, can apparently see them? Itís just a thought.

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Iíd like to note that my 50th entry just slipped past this week unheralded. I had intended to say something at the time but I forgot, so here it now isÖ 50+ entries? Whoíd a thunk Iíd keep it up? Yay for me!

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