Life In a Prism

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

There were two of them. One was lighter than the other, but both were there. The lighter one arched over the brighter of the two, contrasting it and showing the difference between a little and a lot. They arched over the PNC Bank building on Rt. 18…the one I passed every day to and from work. Today I was riding with Kim, and he saw the rainbows the same time I did.

It has been years since I've seen a rainbow. This, however, was the first time I've seen two. It was also the first time that I've seen one so bright, the colors fading from indigo to red to orange to yellow to green to blue and all the colors in between and doing so brightly enough that you can make out the separate bands of each. It dwarfed the bank. A huge video test on the world's biggest screen. Nature got a new video card.

"How many colors are there?" Kim asked me. That's when I remembered that Kim was colorblind. I couldn't imagine life without being surrounded by so many colors; but likewise he couldn't imagine life with them. I read them off, going from the top of the arc to its inside, marveling even more. The colors there were so pure…there was none of this teal, almond, or any other Crayola-created crap colors in there. The type that expectant mothers demand their baby's room to be, or their couch has to match. It was just the purest ones…those that make up all the others in the world.

That was yesterday.

This morning I find myself seeing things in a brighter way following the rainbow. I notice all the different greens and browns scattered about. There's more than just dark green or light green. There's that green of that particular pine tree but not of the pine tree over there. There's the green on the oak tree hanging on for dear life as the orange miasma of Autumn overtakes it. The green of this grass blade and the green of that grass blade, they're different too. You could say the same for the browns…and all the others. The older man walking along the road had on a hat as orange as a traffic cone. The girl with the sweater that would put any banana in the world to shame. So many different colors…and they were there all along. I just didn't notice them until I got a chance to count off the purest colors of the rainbow. Now I see them all…everything's brighter and more powerful after that experience. Even the gray of that patch of sky is different than the gray in the other patch of sky. I'm living in a prism today. It's nice here.

I know this is a feeling that will pass. Most of them do. I won't have time to look at all the different colors in the world on Monday when I have computers to build. But today is Friday, and I can relax a bit, take it easier than normal as the weekend wraps its white shroud and hastens me off to do fuck-all for a couple days. And the colors will all wave and dance and play around me as I stand on my balcony with my cigarette and watch them jump. Life in a prism.

When they first pumped up computer video to supprt 16.8 million colors I was amused by it. "Who needs that many colors?" I would scoff. Now I look around me…I'm not so sure it's enough. I wonder how many Nature's new card can do?

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