Inside My Synesthetic Mind January 21 2020

Disclaimer: what follows is an unedited, unfiltered stream of consciousness typed out as I was half asleep the other night. Way less structured than any other blog post you've seen from me before, for sure! This is undistilled Synesthesia Brain. It's a whole lot of nonsense, but it's also the way I think, feel, taste, smell, see and hear all day every day. Take this as an expository art piece and make of it what you will.

*     *     *

All day every day every moment I'm flayed. I walk around this city with my insides on my outsides and I'm giving and taking and loving and caring and listening and I'm just this wide open thing, and when I look at myself I don't exist or I exist too much. It hurts to look at myself, like a cognitive dissonance ice cream headache. I'm a dead girl electrified, or actually I'm the battery force for all of life. Wicked alive in every nerve every minute and it won't ever turn off, but from time to time a breaker flips and everything is so loud that I can't hear any of it. This is what it is. A quintuple exposure life, like eating your words and also what they mean (not often the same flavor or texture, by the way), also feeling each drop of ambient noise like a large-bore hollow needle through the left ulna or a velcro tickle behind my ears. Words and numbers are colors, but I can't see them so much as I can taste what shape they are and I get the message. Your fourteens are orchid purple pentagons, except for when you are excited and speaking in italics. That's when they are eggplant-fuchsia pentagonal prisms instead. People speak in 3D when they get worked up.

I learned that this is all Other Than. I learned it when I was small, and it kept being true. That's fine now. It was lonely than and it still is, but it's fine. Now at least I have words to explain why I have to explain my words. They don't taste as good as most words. I try not to spit them out too often. It's most comfortable to avoid them, but I make an effort and almost never spit them into my napkin under the table anymore. Or I'm working on it, anyway. Synesthesia and neurological and condition are lime and earwax and another tart bitter thing. Kumquat or goldenseal maybe? Those tastes are shaped the same color, it's hard to tell them apart. It doesn't matter, words mostly taste like stuff I like except when they're about me and I have to talk about it. Those flavor word shapes twist my stomach and dry the sides of my tongue. I get confused because the ideas and the words have taste and texture and color and form, but I don't.

For all that I can taste and feel what everyone around me is and as much as I mesh and meld and become my surroundings, I can't taste ideas and words when they're aimed at me. Talk to me about your family and I can build you a tiered layer cake of complex baggage, each generation joined to the next with fillings made of coriander and persimmon and lavender. Talk to me about me? You have trapped me in a sensory deprivation tank where I can hear your words but not what's underneath. It's frightening and disorienting and I promise you I don't know how you feel about me unless you are explicit in your language. It doesn't taste like anything, and with no textured edges I can't grip it. Without all the color, I can't see what you want to say to me. So this is what it is. Now you know, sort of.