Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Synesthesia

Zoey's childhood is something oily dripping from between my fingers. Almond oil, perhaps, very slightly sweet and slippery warm. The other day as we played outside in the sun she sang the theme song to Wow Wow Wubbzy softly under her breath. wow wow wubbzy, wubbzy wubbzy wow wow... She has taken to wearing what she calls her clickety clacks as she gardens, pink plastic mules with faux marabou feathers that I have had to tape back onto the tips of each toe. Thanks, Zoey, I said, now you've got that song in my head. And she looked at me, confused. The song is on your head? So I explained to her what that meant, a song in your head, how you can hear it over and over inside your head, doesn't that ever happen to you? She smiled and patted her shovel against the dirt. Five minutes went by until she walked over to me with her plastic clickety clack shoes and pressed her ear against mine, a hard, hot apricot late in the afternoon: but I can't hear it! Sometimes I feel as if I am mother to Amelia Bedelia, drawing the bath on construction paper and making sponge cake out of Scotch-Brite.
And yet there are other times when I feel as if I am mother to genius, her mind complex like sweet and sour borscht, an abundance of senses, synapse and red tongue-like edges. Mama! I have a song in my head! Yesterday she pressed her ear against mine again. Can you hear it? Sticky hot ear against sticky hot ear. What song is it, sweetpea? And this is what she said: It is a yellow song, mama, can you hear the yellow song in my head? So I pressed my ear hard against hers and I heard it, the song of my child who tastes spiney pokes and smells the sharp curve of fuschia. The song of yellow and why not.

13 comments:

Vanessa said...

God, you're a good writer...

~a of SkanksForNothing said...

love it. i heart amelia bedelia.

Jen said...

Dont they say the most amazing things sometimes??

Alexsandria said...

Wow! That's an amazing gift! Does she really have all of those forms of synesthesia? She seems bound to be an artist of some kind.
I have the lamest form of synesthesia. I have always thought of numbers and letters as having distinct personalities. How lame is that compared to seeing colors when listening to music?

arollerskatingjam said...

Love it, so wondrously perfect. I can't wait for moments like these with my little girl!

Meghan M said...

I think this may be my favorite post of yours ever. Daughters are just the bestest.

Rosalie said...

Love!

Tara [at] Pacific Wedding Guide said...

I have always associated letters and numbers with color, another form of synaesthesia. Neat to know there are others out there!

krista said...

i am so in love with your daughter.

Sschraed said...

So true ...so true! Great post! :)

Jessie said...

Perfection.

I hear yellow songs, too. :)

Sparkie said...

Drop dead gorgeous story. That's sorta synesthesia-y, innit? In the sense that your story would stop traffic if it walked down the street. And it's your life!

The Lil Bee said...

I love that little girl of yours. "But I can't hear it!" So precious. BTW my mom and I both have synesthesia. I never knew it had a name, or that it wasn't something everyone had, until I saw this special on 60 Minutes, which confirmed that we are both freak shows.