When I am lying in bed at night and can’t sleep, I end up looking around my bedroom. I often notice that when I really look, everything is...black and white? Then I remember, colors are simply reflections of light, apparently. So when there is no light, does that mean there is no color? If I'm getting this right, that means that everything you and I can see and touch really doesn't have any color in it, not when we can see it anyway. Maybe everything is always black and white, and the light just comes around to play tricks on us. If colors aren’t really tangible, then how do we know if we all see the same colors? The answer is, we don’t. Sure, we all know the color blue is blue, and it looks blue to all of us, but if I went into your head and saw what you saw, maybe I would think, “hey, that's not blue.” What if all the colors in your head were the opposite of all the colors in mine? I’ll never be able to know if what I see as blue is orange to you because I can’t go inside your head. But what if, somehow, I could?
If I were in your head, maybe I would wake up in the morning and go to turn on the lamp on your bedside table. I turn it on and, instead of a warm yellow glow, it’s...purple? Ok. I open the blinds for the yellow sun to come in, but when I open them I get a burst of lavender colored sun rays in my eyes instead. I open your closet for something to wear and find that all your clothes have very strange color combinations. Any blue jeans? Nope, just orange jeans. I pull together a somewhat presentable outfit with the orange jeans. Maybe I’m just not seeing them right. After all, I am being blinded by a large purple ball of light early in the morning. I remember your mom saying the other day that she had painted the bathroom walls a nice lime green. I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth and find that the walls instead look an alarmingly bright red. Interesting. I try to clean up my face, although it’s a bit tough because the reflection from the bright red walls doesn’t make me look too flattering. I walk downstairs to get some breakfast. Your mom sees me and says, “Hey! Want some watermelon?” I look at the bowl of fruit sitting on the counter. I pick up one of the watermelon slices. The inside of the watermelon is green, and the rind is pink. I decide to politely decline her offer. I grab an apple to eat instead. This way, it will either be green or red, which is much less disturbing than a bright pink watermelon rind. I look up at your mom and notice she looks quite odd. The woman who I thought had brown hair and blue eyes now has a strange greenish tint to her hair and her eyes appear to be orange. I grab your school supplies and step outside.
I have stepped into what appears to be a fiery inferno that almost looks like what some might imagine hell would look like. Then, I realize that instead of the leaves on the trees and the grass being beautiful shades of green, they are shades of red. I look up at the sky. Is it on fire? No, it’s just orange instead of blue. I can still see the bright purple sun buried in the vast orange sky, shining down through the red leaves and dappling light onto the ground. Well, that explains why you had always been more of an indoors person. I bend down and pull a handful of the red grass from the ground. As I kneel down, I notice a stray cat on the sidewalk in front of me. Instead of having fur that is the color of a lovely orange creamsicle, the cat has baby blue fur. It almost looks like it has been abducted by aliens, or has had someone dump blue hair dye all over it. I don’t pet the cat, afraid to feel its possibly alien contaminated fur. No wonder you never liked ginger cats. I start walking again towards the sidewalk. When I get to the end of the street, I see a bright emerald green hexagon shaped sign that says ‘STOP.’ It takes me a few moments to realize that it’s just a stop sign. Even though it isn’t the usual saturated red, it’s still easy to see because of its contrast to all of the red trees around it. I get to your bus stop and wait for a few moments. Then, as I gaze down the road, I can make out the top of what appears to be a purple school bus. As the large purple bus swiftly approaches, I think to myself, “What is this, Harry Potter?” The bus stops in front of the curb and I reluctantly step on. As I make my way to a seat, I notice that several other kids on the bus are also wearing orange jeans. Now I feel a little less out of place, although the jeans are starting to feel slightly like a prison uniform. At first, I am alarmed by the number of red lights the bus driver seems to be running. Then I remember that while I’m in your head, red is really green, which means go. I start to relax. Maybe I’ll get the hang of this, it’s not so bad if you can look past the orange sky. I arrive at school and try to get through the day without becoming too confused. Once I get to lunch, I sit down at a table and notice several people eating blue ‘oranges.’ I unpack my lunch and notice that your mom packed buttered noodles. I remember you saying a few years ago that you hated the way noodles looked, and therefore you hated eating them. Your mom must’ve packed them to get you to try to get over your fear of them. I never understood why you hated them until this moment. I am looking down at a container full of strange purple glop, instead of what I had previously thought was usually a nice golden yellow color. If I were you, I wouldn’t ever want to eat noodles either! This gets me thinking, maybe everyone really likes the same things, but the only reason we have different opinions on them is because of what color they are. Maybe everyone on the planet actually has the same favorite color, but we just don’t know it’s the same. Maybe we’re not so different after all.
Artist Statement I had actually written this piece for a free expression assignment in my english class, then my english teacher suggested I submit it here! The concept is mainly just something I constantly think about and felt the need to write about so it would never escape my mind without me having memory of it. I think it's interesting because it's kind of like an unsolvable puzzle