This originally appeared in eMerge.
I look around the room and catalogue the pink items. I sink into my dark pink chair and fall asleep. It’s late afternoon approaching sunset, so the horizon is pink at the edges too.
Pink is real, pink is fake. Ok, so pink equals girl. The outfit my daughter is wearing in the photo on my desk is pink. She was four or five, a pretty girl in pink overalls. That photo is over 30 years old. I am wearing my pink mock Crocs from the Dollar Store.
I slip deeper into sleep. Sunset has come and gone and the sky is colorless.
A bad dream: I took my pinkened clothing to the doctor. He was a swarthy man with a mustache who peered at me and licked his lips like I was a bowl of fruit. This happened when I was eight; I remember that fact as I sit in my pink armchair while sleep rattles me. I fly up from the chair, literally fly, and do an amateurish kid’s karate kick in the air. It lands nowhere and I remember that I’m eight, small for my age, with way too expansive a vocabulary. Kicking doesn’t come naturally to me, although the desire to kick definitely does. It is ludicrous but I think I can do it, so I arise and kick again. Pink is girl and girl is moxie.
What are the pinks? Pink is audacious – pink chicken will kill you. Pink drink will give you diabetes. Imagine a pink salad, or a pink potato chip, or a pink green bean. Would you eat them? And if you did, would we celebrate that we know you better or sneer and turn our heads?
Awake again. Everyone stands on the street holding candles and wearing pink. The air is reverent. I wake up. I see that I haven’t floated anywhere, nor seen a pink green bean, nor looked at the world through much younger eyes. The sun has gone down, the moon is new and the darkness that has fallen enshrouds me.