Thursday, June 3, 2010

Color Week: Purple

Prompt: Write from the perspective of a character who can only see one color.

Source: None. Purple (found through Google):

Response: You see the sky and you see blue. You see the grass and you see green. You look at other people and you see the tone of their skin - the mixture of red and white and yellows and browns that covers the frame of their bones.

I have never seen those colors. I was taught them when I was young - shown cards in class just like other kids, but they all look the same to me. I don't know what color you would call my world, but all colors are the same to me.

I look at the sky and the grass and skin and they are all the same to me. All colors blend together - every object the same, except one.

Pansies grew outside my house when I was a child. I didn't tell about the colors - that they all looked the same, but I couldn't help being fascinated by the pansies that grew outside. They were the only thing that looked different - their velvet petals were a lovely color, so different from everything else in my world.

As most humans are captivated by the mountains, the sunset, the stars, I was mesmerized by those pansies. Because I happened not to have purple clothing and nothing else in our home was purple, I was convinced that the flowers were something magical, mystical, unique.

In my mind, the flowers were a connection to something I was not given at birth. I knew everyone else was able to see things differently from me, but I felt like the flowers were a gift.

When I went to high school though, despite the fact that I no longer strictly believed that the pansies were anything special, I lost all faith in their magic. Even though I said I didn't care, pretended I did it on purpose, I was teased that everything I wore clashed. My obsession with purple was constantly commented on.

I began to feel that the flowers - rather than being a gift - had been left - by accident or design - to torture me. Because everywhere I looked, I saw nothing. I couldn't even imagine what other people might be able to see.

When I left high school, left the town I grew up in, I moved to an apartment in the city and I filled it with purple things - flowers in the window box, pictures on the walls. I painted the walls varying shades of purple and when I was home I was happy.

Leaving my apartment was like dying - like ripping myself out of a natural environment and trying to transplant myself somewhere unfit for habitation. But it wasn't until recently that I realized something - no matter how much purple I splashed on the world, I would never see what other people saw.

It wasn't until then that I realized I would never belong. Not like you. Whatever else you are, you and everybody else in this world belong here.

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