Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My Color Sweet Tooth

Here's another glimpse of what it's like to live in my head. Driving home from SC last week I saw my first new NC license plate. I had not heard that we were changing the letter color (all standard issue plates since April 16, apparently). The plate has looked like the example here (blue lettering) for over 25 years.

I felt an absurd powerful pleasure seeing the new plate. I chased the car on the highway, trying to get another look, to see what it was. I couldn't believe what I'd seen, or fathom the huge pleasure I felt at that red. Then I started to see more in parking lots and on the road this week. I LOVE this red color on the plates.

This photo doesn't do a thing for me. But the actual plates in sunlight... The real thing makes my heart break out in a wide grin. I can FEEL this color doing something to me. The glow of it gives me a mental suntan.

Thinking carefully about my reaction, though, I believe the color I'm experiencing is mental, a hybrid of the new physical red superimposed on the expected blue. So the new red, which makes me want to sing, is all in my mind.

Maybe you can see it, too? Maybe you have to have my kind of color sweet tooth to experience this? I expect others do something similar with music (the strange pleasure of an actual note superimposed on a mental anticipated note?)

With time I expect the experience will fade, as the red plates become more common, and the mental "after-image" of the blue isn't so strongly behind the new color. But I plan to get all the heaven-shining-through-red-jelly-bean jollies I can before that happens.

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