What color is fear?

I have this thing.

After half a lifetime of thinking it was either a special power possessed by only a select few, or a strange sensory birth defect that generally didn’t interfere with my life, I discovered it was a thing.

With a name.

Synesthesia.

I see letters, and words, in color.

Not all words, and not all the time — only particular words and only really when I pay attention to it.

Months of the year, for instance, each appear as a particular color when I visualize them in my mind. So detailed, in fact, that June and July are both red, but different shades.

All the letters of the English alphabet are colored, too, but strangely, not the Hebrew alphabet. Some letters are (Aleph is white like “A”), and some aren’t. If I were a neurologist, I’d probably study that, but I’m not. I’m just the handicapped super hero with a colorful dictionary in her mind.

What’s particularly interesting to me, though, is how words can change color when they are paired with another.

Prickly is white. But pear is yellow. Prickly pear is white. Why?

I have no idea.

Home is red. But go is green. Go home is “green.” Does my mind automatically prefer the verb? Does the adjective always dominate?

Fear is a word whose color I’d like to change.

If  I could somehow convert fear from that rusty-tinted brown orange to a vibrant hot pink with purple polka dots, I somehow believe that my perception of fear might change, too.

Can you really be terrified of a word that is hot pink with purple polka dots?

What if, indeed, the secret power of synesthesia is the ability to use color to change the way you perceive ?

Change the color of a word in order to manipulate your world?

Into a place that’s less scary?