Red

My head is always a mess with stories and memories and feelings I should've expressed better. It’s becoming hard to recognize myself and I forget the origins of the cracks of my eyes and forehead, when did that get there?

I think of them often, those people I've lost contact with along my way. Like a fiend I scour about for traces of them, always unsuccessfully, how do they seemingly disappear? Or maybe it’s I who have faded away.

I've met a lot of people these past few months. It’s helped me to feel like a person again, like some part of a whole that maybe, might, perhaps exist… some day. I fantasize about my future self. I wonder if I'll be loved again. I wonder if I'll love myself, too. Or anything.

You see, I have a light in me but it hurts to hold. It burns a white smoke signal attracting to it the the aimless, the weak, the wandering. It’s hot like fire or maybe dry ice, so magical while you watch it create a fog of mystic romance, yet easily photographed with a Samsung Galaxy S and posted to your Instagram as a souvenir for which I am never given credit.

You handle me with care. You wear gloves so my power doesn't scar you. Then, as quickly as you enjoyed it, as you played with it, as you let the mystery wash over you, the desire for me disappears. I am treated as a journey, as a destination, and eventually you return home from vacation stronger and all I've left is a superficial optimism that I too become a memory, I hope I am a pleasant one.

I often wonder if my aura is a pale, muggy gray. It seems I only attract in those shrouded in black or white or dark blue or brown - the muted palette of those who want to get lost in a hazy bit of love for a while until they exhale and I dissipate. The steam clears and their trip continues, All aboard! It’s becoming clear that perhaps I need not for anyone and it’s scary to know I’ll go on living in this lonely lighthouse. It makes me cry, sometimes.

The other day I bought two candles, one white and one black, to aid in channeling my magic. When I burn them I will call to those I've yet to meet and know and reveal myself to — please you, be red. Let you be so bright I can see you through the fog with my low beams on. Let you come blaring through the night, engines ablaze. Let you crash into me like a rocket because, it’s lonely out in space. Let you be red.

A fire engine knows its destination, hides from nothing, and rarely goes unnoticed unless you happen to be looking the other way with your windows rolled up, volume on high. Let me strive to drive quietly through the darkness, always looking both ways. Let me pass through various intersections with a sense of adventure and purpose. Let my eyes be always open. Let me be ready to yield, at any place, at any time, as I gently kiss the foreheads of the dark and light souls who've used my softness to escape their fears. Though I love and pity them it is okay to paint my landscape with color, to upgrade from the shades and gray that hold me back from the yellow of my hair and skin — from the sunshine I could be.

I am no muse, no mistress, no mother. Nor am I a fog or haze or rising steam or clearing smoke. I am a prism who contains all colors simultaneously because I need them, but I fear if you look directly into me you will be blinded and forced to turn away. So, red, keep me in your pocket for good luck and share with me your colors and give me all your wishes and I promise, I promise, I'll do my best to fulfill them.

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