4 plus 1

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:00 -- Joi S


4 plus 1.

Whenever I'm asked, "what's your name?"
My mind shouts defiantly, "4 plus 1."
My tongue resists,
Prying against my teeth
In silent protest.
My inquirer waits, 
Counting the awkward seconds,
The questionable silence.
I stand there,
Behind tight jaws and closed eyes,
While the Civil War in my head comes to a shakey end.
The victor gets to answer.
No surprise there.
"Joi." I spit out, defeated.
Eyes full of apologies.
I know he's wondering
How on earth
Someone could forget their own name.
Because surely,
He wouldn't know
How exhausting it is
To have to translate
His own thoughts, 
into something his mouth will understand.
During a math test, 
I'm asked, "what's the square root of 25?"
My immediate thought: "Orange."
"No, five." 
Here we go.
I sit there, 
Bracing myself,
As the flag drops.
The war has begun.
I bury my head in my hands,
Begging that, for once,
My mind and my writing hand
Can just agree on an answer,
So I can finish this test.
You know what?
We're not doing this,
Not today.
I scribble "5" on my paper.
Annoyed with myself.
Because surely
No one would know
How exhausting it is
To have to translate
Your own thoughts,
Into something your teacher will understand.
Pink, 9 plus 1. Pretty good.
"How are you feeling?"
My love asks me, 
Bracing himself
For the war he's come to expect.
I wait too,
But there's only silence, 
And finally, after less than a second,
My mind and mouth,
Arch enemies, 
both reply calmly,
"Pink, 9 plus 1. Pretty good."
No war, 
No filter,
No translations.
He smiles.
So do I.
"That's great."
And it was.
Because surely,
No one would know
How great it is
To have synesthesia
And not have to force your own thoughts,
To be something others will understand.


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