Type 4s are strange birds to many of the rest of us, and of course they are secretly, if not outright, proud to be seen as such. After all, who would want to be just like everyone else? In my last post, I mentioned that 4s scan the environment for raw material, and that material can be tangible or intangible. Here’s an example of how this scanning affects 4s’ ability to focus—or not. My partner, who was a 4w5, wrote this piece for one of my newsletters about 10 years ago. I’m operating on the assumption he won’t object to my posting it here now. In any case, he can’t.
A Four Looks at Focus
A rather drab auditorium in the public school mode. I grip the edges of the podium and clear my throat.
“Thank you for asking me here” … I peer nervously into the wings to my left and right … “to discuss ‘focus.’” I glance at my notes: a single bond sheet bearing unconnected words scrawled at arbitrary angles, which, while possibly from the same pen, are as various in style as a Saul Steinberg. Is his work, particularly the later pieces, drawing or cartooning? The editors are in on it, one would think; they present him almost solemnly—a double-truck in The New Yorker. Geez! There I go with the print media jargon, after lo, these many years. So, a cliché, already. I enjoy a well-worn cliché (itself a cliché, that.).
Got to regain my focus, I suppose. After all, what’s the point? A water glass has been thoughtfully or, for all I know, automatically provided by the lecture committee. Or the lecher committee (if they only knew me!). I’m here about … water. That’s it! Last moment consideration: left over from previous speaker? No lip prints. I sip with caution.
Humans are about ninety-seven percent water, unless I made that last fact up. I do sometimes, which is okay with me except that sometimes I forget I did so. I’m already keeping track of a “gazillion” factoids. (I’m running an inquiry as to the origin of “gazillion”—suspect it’s commercially fabricated teen-speak. Not like “googol,” which is a real word for a real number: one followed by one hundred zeros. It was supplied by a mathematician’s eight-year-old kid.) If humans are mostly water, why do they carry plastic liter jugs of the stuff and hit on them while they’re driving, whenever they can tear themselves away from their cell phones? If they intake that last three percent, will they morph into slurpy, silvery water creatures like in “The Abyss”?
I always have trouble with these two film titles. “The Abyss” is the underwater rat in real time, and “The Deep” is Jacqueline Bisset in a wet tee-shirt. No rat. Continue reading