Your name is dark purple (and if someone writes it in a different color, I might have an aneurism)

For as long as I can remember, since I was a wee-little girl, I’ve been aware of the fact that every word I read and every word I hear is colored. In fact, every letter and every number has its “own color”. I see these so vividly and so automatically in my mind — without any conscious effort or control — that I’ve always thought it was a completely common experience for everyone.

My earliest recollection of it is in kindergarten; when I was playing with magnetic alphabet letters, I felt that “A” was indeed a very red letter (as it was in that set of Fisher Price magnets). I also remember that, in Grade 1, the teacher had posted large alphabet cards above the blackboard from A to Z, with a corresponding example of a French word that began with that letter. I remember thinking that ├«le (island) was “a very yellow word”. Another very strong early memory comes from the times when my sister and I used to play the game of Life for hours on end, and I would spin the wheel and feel quite unsettled that the number six was yellow instead of olive green, and that the number one definitely should have been reddish-brown instead of blue. I didn’t vocalize any of this until sometime in early high school when I was shopping for notebooks and school supplies, and I finally told my mom that I needed a green notebook for Physics (“because Physics is a green subject!”) and a blue notebook for Math. I thought she knew exactly what I meant — well, because Moms know everything — but it turns out she had absolutely no clue.


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