My eyes are the same color as my hair.

A hazel, muddied mix of brown and blonde stains my irises. I lean in to my mirror and inspect the color. Instead of seeing the pigment, I see more of my reflection. A smaller version of myself in the center of my eye that gets bigger as I lean closer, closer, closer. My face, the color, becomes more magnified in my own view. It all blends together, but the tint doesn’t change. I am my reflection. But what is the color? Is this shade only mine or do others have it, too?

Is there anything inside of me that I can call my own and only my own?

I’m worried it’s not enough to be just one shade. If I had a palette full of colors in the snapshot of my face, I might be able to camouflage the unseemly tints with better ones. But sometimes, even the most dazzling colors can’t disguise the deepest stains.

Is there any one thing I could tell you, one color I could show you, that would distinguish me from everyone else you’ve met?

There is a chance, if I showed more than one shade in my above-the-chin snapshot, that it wouldn’t come out looking like a rainbow. It might be a Picasso painting so disorienting it would alienate the people who looked at it and make them move onto something better looking. Something that made sense and wasn’t so messy. A Monet. A tranquil flower scene filled with perfectly placed dots and brushes of paint.

Inside, I feel a lot of colors mixing together in a funnel-shaped panic. Fallow is the triumphant hue in my face. It escaped. The rest battle for a chance to show themselves. But it’s hard to know what to let out and what to keep in. It’s hard to know if any color is so special it would make a difference. If it would change how you saw me. More importantly, if it would change how I saw me.

For now, I will keep them all hidden inside. The hazel, muddied mix of brown and blonde stain can remain.

Because, is there really anything inside of me, or you, that we can call our own and only our own?


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