Synasthesia: These Letters Sound Purple.

Posted: September 26, 2012 in rants, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You couldn’t call it a night time storm, really. Not a proper one. There was wind, rain, even lightning; but this was no storm. The wind was just enough to blow the rain into occasional angles, to rustle the palm fronds outside of his window. The lightning was far away, the thunder a low and distant rumbling.

The radio played softly: an internet station tuned to music from South Africa in the ’50s. Kinda like doo-wop, the voices combined in unexpected ways to create harmonies at once joyous and full of sorrow. How does somebody play a banjo, of all things, in a way that breaks your heart? He thought this as he tossed his head back and drained the last few drops from the bottle. The beer tasted like the music, in a way. A hint of flowers, a bite, a stinging sourness, sweet. This is what greenish-gold sounds like, tastes like. A cloud bank flashed in the distance, and later, the punctuation of the thunder. He stared, unblinking. Time for another beer. He went to the fridge.

The song changed. It was a familiar one. He knew the words, but not what they meant. He used to own a CD with this song on it. The two of us used to love this song. “Baby a-ree yeng, down-down chikavu,” the ladies sang. “Chi-i-i-kavu!” They sounded like they were wagging their pointing fingers and shimmying as they sang. “Chikavu, chikavu, chikavu way!” He closed his eyes, so he could see her dancing with the singers. In his vision, she was dressed like a pinup in a glittering skin-tight sheath and fuchsia pillbox hat.

He shook his head vigorously and opened his eyes. He had thrown out the picture they took with her in that outfit. His arm was around her waist; he wore a burgundy smoking jacket and a fez. They had had a great time at that party. Then on the way home, they returned to their normal, argumentative state. What were they arguing about? Didn’t matter. Always, she would storm out of the house. Always he would chase her up the street.

Until the time he didn’t.

The rain fell. The music played.

The beer was good.


words  and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.


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