I Am Me


There are a number of things that have been going on in my life that I assumed was normal. Usually, they aren't. One big example is the house in my brain.

I'm not kidding; there is a house in my brain. Well, a mansion.

Essentially, it is my memory. It's a large, extensive room littered with scattered furnishings. Each and every item represents a fragment of my memory. As you can imagine, it is largely disorganized, and I often lose a very important item… like that funky-looking notebook that represents homework. I got curious one day and, after some research, I found that my mind house isn't particularly usual, but a person can make their own with some concentration and periodic practice. I've just been doing it for as long as I could form words.

There's a room attached to the main house. I call it The Vault. It's where I try and force memories away when I don't want them. It takes a while to force things inside, but after a successful placement, most—but not all—of my memory on the subject is gone. It rarely ever works, but one things I am determined to lock away in the future is the memory of my Grapheme-Color Synesthesia.

The best way to explain it? Colors, colors everywhere. You remember those annoyingly unnecessary worksheets they shoved in your face in Kindergarten, the one where your task was to connect the capital and lowercase letters? When you looked down at it in dismay, you probably saw black and white.

I saw the rainbow.

And then, it wasn't so bad anymore.

Growing up, I had a very active form of my kind of synesthesia. Letters, numbers, words, ideas… they were always colored to me. To put it simply, in my head eight plus five equals purple. Purple equals thirteen, so eight plus five must equal thirteen, because nothing else makes sense. I thought that it was really cool, seeing the world in such a colorful way. That is, until I got upset. When I got upset, everything was all wrong, all mixed up. I would jumble up associations and roles in my mind. One of my friends—when I think of her, I think of a very specific shade of purple. I can't put it into words. But know that when I am agitated, instead of calling her by her name, I would literally call her "Thirteen". Thankfully, I never said it loud enough for her to hear me!

Synesthesia often fades with age. I think that's what's happening to mine. I've been doing a lot of research. Synesthesia is never the same for any two people. Some people can taste sounds. Some people can see numerical sequences in the air. Others associate letters and numbers with gender. I could go on. Mine is probably one of the most common. And mine is fading. Or, rather, becoming less intense. There is a type of synesthesia where people "sense" a color when they think of a grapheme (A grapheme is a letter or a number). Mine has changed from actively seeing it to simply sensing the color. Maybe it's because I'm a teenager. My stupid brain isn't done cooking, and it'll realize that, oh, well, this isn't right, and fix the problem.

It was a bit of a problem for me at times, but I will miss it. I figure that, one day in the future, I'll stop seeing or sensing the colors all together. I've come to terms with it. But it's not something that I think I would want to remember. I'll probably think that I was a lunatic growing up, once I'm old and wrinkly.

But underneath it all, we're all a little crazy, yeah?