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  • Writer's pictureAmanda


Living with synesthesia: an attempt to put it into words.


Easily mistaken for Thursday.

The two “T” weekdays.

One evergreen colored. The other: a shade of lime.

Tuesday, the number 3. Thursday, 7.

Tuesday, evergreen, 3. Tuesday.

An introduction at work: I say his name. It’s blue and orange. I love those colors together.

I roll down the windows and listen to the music: sounds like sunshine, like the world waking up.

The birdsongs are periwinkle and gold, the sun is liquid optimism on my skin.

I soak this in and let it tint Tuesday.

Today, the warmth will bubble up and overflow.

Today I will dance in the grocery aisle for the hell of it. The energy will beg for someplace to go.

The world will feel like an ally. The answers will feel simple, like I’ve been let in on the existential joke of it all. I will feel, in my deepest being, that Amanda Mona is purposeful and beautiful and excited to just purely be.

“What’re you doing Saturday?” plans will be made. Anticipation, excitement, flow state.

Podcasts will blare on as apartments are cleaned. 

Tuesday is supported by a steel beam of focus. It is clouded in a yellow haze of perfection. 


Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. 

I roll over to answer the phone- an early morning work call.

The words don’t wait for me to wake up. 

Harsh, detrimental. The rhetoric clings to my skin like pill to knit.

The sun is blinking awake, but the day proves to be drowsy.

Grey on grey on grey on grey.

Shake my head, hop in the shower. Water helps to reset.

Buzz. Buzz. Towel on, back out. 100+ notifications rise to the phone’s surface in a little red bubble.

I tell myself I will answer them soon.

Texts, multiple texts: “Where are you, Amanda? You haven’t answered in days. Are you alive?”

Messages become a boulder. I become akin to Sisyphus.

Everyone does this, Amanda. This is normal. Be normal.

Makeup, car ignition, work. Welcome to the real world.

I stare at my computer screen, eyes scanning for numbers that usually make sense. 

Usually these numbers stick somewhere in my brain- my green 3s, my blue 1s.

All of the numbers are grey. Grey on grey on grey.

The chattering- coworkers’ and passerbys' background voices that surround me. They begin to pound. Pulsating red, grey, red, grey. My brain pulls focus and attempts to sort the noise.

“Shut up! Please,” I want to say. “Can someone please just see that I’m trying to concentrate?”

I want to shake my hands, go on a run, scream, cry. The energy has no place to go.

People need to focus all of the time, Amanda. This is normal. Be normal.

I’ve found that “all of the numbers have ‘gone grey,’” and “everyone’s chit-chat is TV static and pulsing red” are not met with supportive reactions. I learned that lesson in grade school.

I’ve found that saying “I’m overstimulated,” or “I have a hard time sensory processing,” still warrants a “well, you’ll have to learn to live with that,” from most I’ve met.

How do I tell you “their negative words hung over me like a dark cloud today. That noise snapped me into black and white and the music smelled like cigarette smoke”?

How do I explain that sound has color and shape and smell without being perceived as crazy? That your name has its own unique hue to it, and that’s how I remembered it from day one?

That 6 and 8 are purple. 3 and 7 are green, and that’s why I mix up Tuesdays and Thursdays?

How do I make that make sense?

Inevitably, this experience will be stifled throughout the hard days. I push down the anger when crowds I’m in prove too loud (red and black). I try to convince myself that others’ emotions don’t need to feel like viruses for me to catch and host. 

I tell myself that art- my one true and acceptable outlet- will grant some sort of relief soon. 

I will write and write and write and write.

I will paint with the colors I feel so vividly.

People love to see what shade their favorite song is to me. A cute party trick.

I’ll present the more palatable face of whatever this side of me is.

I will draft my apologies to my close friends. I’m sorry that I dropped off the map again.

I’ll come home- lights off, soundless, dark. I’ll sit in the nothing, and will prepare for what color the next day might bring.

I find that neutral days don’t seem to exist for me.

I pray that tomorrow is yellow again.

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