Synesthesia enhances editor’s life

Andrew Lafrance

Andrew Lafrance

While at SDSU, I have come to realize that I literally don’t see the world like everyone else.

It has to do with something in my brain that I learned about in psychology last fall. It is called synesthesia and is the association of color with life. In my case, I associate a color with everything, no matter what, who, where or when it is.

I never knew that everyone else did not see the world the way I do before I learned about this. Apparently, most people do not think about colors when they think about the days of the week. I, however, see Monday as dark red, Tuesday as light green, Wednesday as yellow, Thursday as dark green, Friday as purple, Saturday as gray and Sunday as golden. These colors are just as much a part of those days as the names of the days themselves. It makes keeping what day it is easy but can make getting through that day somewhat confusing.

For instance, my British literature class takes place on every other day at noon. This seems like a siample enough fact, but in my mind it gets befuddled because Monday-Wednesday-Friday looks like red-yellow-purple, while noon is red. However, 12 p.m. is black, even though technically it’s the same time as noon. Furthermore, the word British is orange while the word literature is grey, but the island of Great Britain is dark blue and books in general are brown. My professor is a cool shade of ocean blue, but her name is dark gray. The classroom we meet in is burnt orange. The number on the door of the classroom is 217, which in sequence is red-yellow-green, and the building where we meet is Crothers Engineering Hall, which is a dirty yellow hue. On top of that, if the day is Dec. 11, it turns everything darker because December is rather a dark month. The eleventh of each month, to unbalance things, is quite pale.

When all these things are accounted for in my head, it makes it hard to think sometimes. I easily forget things like papers or books I need for class or to meet with people at certain times. It can make reading hard to concentrate on because each word is a different color. Imagine reading a page where each word is a different hue of a different color. It makes reading fun and dandy, but I imagine more complicated than it was meant to be.

In addition, everyone I know has a color associated with them. My best friends here at school are purple, red, brown and light blue. I am purple, as well. Christmas is dark blue, while Jennifer Hudson takes on a groovy sort of green. My mother is dark red, my father is green, but my family overall is a crystal-clear blend of everything.

As far as I know, these color associations are random. I never choose which colors I want something or someone to be, but once the color is placed, it is hard to change it. Sometimes, as time goes on, people especially will change.

I don’t know why my mind works this way, but I think I’m thankful it does. I cannot imagine living without having so much color everywhere – on people, in class, at work and in the books I read. It makes what may be a dreary day to everyone else a colorful day to me. I have never met anyone else with synesthesia, but I want to. Maybe someday I can join a synesthesia support group and eat crumbly cookies with other color-enthused people. Maybe they would kick me out of the club for drinking all of the coffee.

But until then, I’ll just try and keep track of which day is which.