The waiting room is silent, save for the glass-paned exterior door rattling in its frame. A storm is pushing in from the north, bringing with it the threat of late snowfall. I pull up on my collar, imperfect protection against the cold, but all the same, some small barrier between me and the world.
Boredom sets in early. It picks at my insides and makes my leg twitchy. Needing something to focus on, I lean over to take the only magazine from the cracked plastic file holder mounted to the wall. Page after creased page flips past. Fad diets. Relationship advice. The world’s best chocolate cake recipe. All filler, no substance. It only serves to feed my boredom. The last thing I see before I put the magazine back where I found it is a question, a lead-in to a quiz that promises insights into my very being.
If you were a colour, which one would you be?
It’s all nonsense, really. A person can never be one thing. We are all unique mixtures of experiences and learned behaviours. How can you contain so many variables under a single designator? The short answer is, you can’t. Still, I ponder the question.
I know there’s yellow. That’s easy. Like, yellow-bellied. Scared. Anxious. It’s how I spend most of my waking hours.
Red is next. Annoyance at best. Anger at worst. It formed from trauma and as a response to the ever-present fear because no other resource exists to take its place. It’s become a default that I wish could be reverted to its factory setting.
The last is blue. It used to be called the blues. A catch-all term for varying degrees of sadness or depression. A deep melancholy over how yellow I’ve become. Because of how often the red comes out for what is, on the surface, no good reason.
Those are my colours. My primary building blocks. But even then, it’s not that simple. The palette, given equal representation, churns and fuses to become what is my true colour.
Black. Like a shadow. Like the longest night. Not a colour at all. A distinct lack of colour. Nothing. Empty.
My train of thought is derailed from its darkened tunnel by a round, middle-aged woman with thick glasses standing behind the reception desk. “The doctor will see you now. Exam room three.”
I stand and stuff my hands in my pockets. I don’t speak, I don’t acknowledge. Limit the connection. It’s better that way. Go to the exam room. Shine a light into the darkness. Wonder if this time it will do some good. Know that it won’t. Walk out the door into snow that should be rain, then fade away like the shadow I am.