Hot PInk This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Hot Pink

Seeking shelter from the angry weather surrounding my car I have nothing but time. Time that I don’t ordinarily take to gaze at nothing but the trees and the leaves and the branches and the millions of green thin slightly pointed blades of grass. They dance ever so slightly as the moist continually dropping breeze brushes through them. My mind clears as the simple beauty both surprises and scares me. I feel like I have been deprived of nature, deprived of witnessing beauty occurring all around me. Walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, having a picnic outside, taking my dog on a hike in the woods are all occurrences familiar to me but not familiar enough. I have never devoted 100% of myself to the world while doing these things. I’m constantly distracted by the noise in my brain, by the voice that barks at me in an annoying tone. The bothersome sounds reminds to do things. “Clean my room, do my homework” it nags, but it never reminds me to listen, to wait, to feel.

Today the voice is asleep; the glass windows that blanket me somehow quiet her. I feel safe, safe in a familiar way. The car is gently swaying, not too fast and not too slow. The metal frame gives ever so slightly with each gust of wind. The sky is wide open. No clouds it sight. Clear wide-open darkness, stars. They rope me in close and embrace me. Endless water is falling, as if each star is crying, yet by the time it reaches me it cascades around the car in a soothing constant gush. I close my eyes momentarily and think of the old rocking chair in my room. Parts within me long to be back in that chair being held, being taken care of while others parts within me are protesting to be free, to grow up and explore everything and anything.

I glance out the window and see nothing but water and green. The green is bright and wet with angular shapes. Teardrops are dripping off the ends and falling into puddles on the ground, which appears to be smiling. The leaves are crying happy tears and the puddles are accepting them willingly and rapidly. I feel my zygomatic smile light up my face. Within the green I spot bright red. I squint my eyes hoping to gain a closer look and crinkle my nose to get the tightest squint possible. I see a beak and feathers; it’s a bird a robin red breast perched perfectly on a branch immersed in leaves. Color, beautiful vibrant colors glisten from her back and reflect directly into the slits of my still squinty eyes. I think how perfectly things must be positioned, the oil coating her feathers, the way they fade into all different hues of red, its eyes staring intensely into mine. Yet somehow not threatening but welcoming. It’s at this very moment I realize I’m looking through glass, through the windows of my car. They are shielding me, protecting me from the full experience of our surrounding world. They act like the arms of a mother holding her freshly born child. I suddenly want more, I want it unfiltered, unedited, unscripted, I want it real, I want it now.

The door is almost impossible to open. It’s surprisingly heavy. The wind has created an air pocket around it preventing me from swinging it wide open even with me leaning the full weight of my body into my push. With all my might I push and lean and still the door remains shut. Maybe this is a sign. Am I ready to see life unfiltered? Without the glass to dull the colors, will I like what I see? For 16 years I have lived a good life filled with intensely hued moments. Moments of emotion both good and bad, but never the less seen through protected vision. I have to step out. The inside of the windows are moist and appear to be frosted with fog. Tiny droplets of water have formed and are beginning to drip. The intensity of the rain and wind has not ceased, but they no longer comfort me. The swaying of the car is not soothing but taunting. With each raindrop I hear a thousand voices calling for me. Inviting me to see them, to feel them and to taste them all at once. It’s overwhelming. An urge to dash outside and dance in the rain is running rampant through my being. I no longer want to be protected by the cloudy glass I need to see life clearly.


If only, if only just for a few moments.

I get on my back. I lift my legs. I grit my teeth. I tighten each and every muscle in my body hoping to create strength. I put the soles of my feet flat against the door and push with all my might. The glimpse of my neon pink toe nails make me smile as I’m pushing. It’s such an artificial color in contrast to the muted earthy colors in the woods. What in this world is hot pink? Even the most vivid flowers can’t match its electricity and effervescence. Such colors can only exist inside.


I begin to wonder where colors come from, who decided that green is for trees and blue is for the sky and hot pink is for toenails? I’m getting more and more sick of hot pink. If only I had a big eraser, a really big one. I would erase all of the hot pink in the world and replace it with something real. Cloud white or sky blue or mud brown. My thinking is abruptly interrupted. The door swings open immediately. Before giving myself a chance to change my mind I jump out of the car.

The ground feels grainy, cold and wet against my bare feet. A chill shoots up my spine and tickles my brain. My level of conscious awareness is increased. It dawns on me that the rain has stopped. I hear chirping. I hear buzzing. The wet leaves make a weak-rumpling sound as small creatures scurry within them. Who created all of this? Why did the torrential downpour suddenly stop? I begin to ponder the magic of our universe when I realize I’m alone in the woods. There is no other being in sight, no form of protection or comfort, just me. I walk and I walk. I feel good. I feel happy. I feel stable and strong and ready. Ready to wash away fear of growing up, fear of what will be or what won’t be. My family, my friends and the earth itself have fed me, taught me, and sustained me. They have helped to create me. But I have done the rest. Just now I created a new me. A me who is ready to see with no filter. Ready to see the world for what colors it really is.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback