I look around the classroom and try not to see anyone. I should pay attention to the psychology book on my desk—after all, the midterm is on Friday and it’s now Monday—but the words blur and swim on the page. At the board, Dr. Crowley goes on, reviewing the abnormal cases. Pretty soon he’ll bring up synesthesia and I’ll melt into a puddle of mush on the floor and die. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll stare at the wall. I can’t look at my classmates, I’ll only see the colors. Won’t even be able to see the faces for all the haze brought on by midterm worry. I’m going mad, I know.
I’ve always seen the colors around the people, even as a very small child. Most of the shrinks my mom dragged me to back then chalked it up to synesthesia, said there was some odd wiring in my brain that confused my senses and that’s why I saw colors. They always did remark though, that it’s a very focused case. Usually people with synesthesia hear sound when they see motion or associate colors with certain letters and numbers, whereas I only saw the colors on the people. My classmates used to tease me about being the crazy girl in town, after I made the grave mistake of talking about it. Frustrated teachers tried to educate them about my affliction, as they called it, about the wiring gone wrong in my brain. That only made them laugh until they were sick with giggles. They called me “Metalbrain.”
Now it’s my second year away at college and no one knows about my problem. I don’t want Dr. Crowley talking about my affliction in the class. I might concentrate too hard on the professor, or the floor, or this wall I’m staring at. I might nervously twirl my hair or fidget and then everyone will know my secret.
Today I decided to go with some fiction. “Dark As Roses” is a short story I wrote about a girl who struggles with psychic ability she’s not sure she wants to possess. These are the first few paragraphs.
- Dusky Waters, Orcas Island
- Josie – Sunshower Chapter One
- A Star is Born
- Lead Us Not Into Temptaion
- What Color is Your Eight? – On Synesthesia 1
- Can You Teach Yourself Synesthesia? – Megan Garber – The Atlantic