The darkness takes over as you walk into the room. Your eyes try to adjust before suddenly being blinded by colors you never thought existed. Orange you only have imagined on fish living on the bottom of the ocean. Magenta that reminds you of a sunset on Saturn’s third moon. A shade of green, so acidic you rethink the actual color of Snow White’s poisoned apple.
It’s in this room, amidst the sounds and lights, that you start to believe you’ve landed on another planet or galaxy. As you walk past the others with words and symbols on their skin, you wonder whether you’ve also changed hues. Is your hair no longer a light brown? Is it the color of a purple highlighter pen? Are your lips now the perfect shade of blue?
In this new reality, life takes on a new meaning. You can no longer trust the five senses you were born with. You need to discover, touch, and feel these colors. You first need to explore this new world before you are part of it. What is beautiful and what is dangerous? They seem to be so closely related. What will happen once you leave? Will you long for a planet you barely glimpsed?
There’s a figure by the wall. Their hair is lasers and shooting stars. They smile at you. As they move towards you, you walk as well. It’s only until you’re standing a breath away that you realize, you’re looking at yourself transformed into another inhabitant of this neon dream. There’s no time to be frightened as the lighting strikes in the middle of the room. Nobody jumps or reacts. In this fluorescent rainforest, everyone has seen fire and electricity.
You weave through the crowd, next to a girl with skin like a python and another with hair like State Fair cotton candy. You feel bright yet dark. Optimistic yet horrified. This wonderland is as beautiful as it is bizarre. The air tastes like artificial watermelon, deafening and sweet. So sugary that it burns the roof of your mouth. One gasp will leave you dreaming of childhood and trashy roadhouses.
You close your eyes, and it’s there you realize: you can still see the neon moving around you. It has taken over your body and mind. It’s possessed every cell, each strand of hair, to the last neuron. There’s no turning back. This delightful disease spreads through you. It feels like strawberry cupcakes with lava icing. This time there’s no defense. You’ve let your guard down for incoming wave of lights.
The sound looks like a hotel swimming pool lit up at night. The colors glow like cool ice cream on a June sunset. The floor swallows you into a lavish nightmare, one you hope will never end. Your fingertips reach out to catch the midnight fog, as pink as a chameleon. It’s then you feel the cold. And your electric blue hand has turned into grey skin.
Slowly it all begins to focus out of the dream. Sounds no longer taste. Colors cease to speak. The floor is painfully still. And you stand in the middle of this crowd, aware of what they’ve yet to see.