102. Synesthesia

According to Wikipedia, synesthesia is “a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.” In other words, your senses get mixed up – colors get associated with numbers, letters with colors, sounds with flavors.

Curtis wanted me to call this post “Sextangles,” because I’m only synesthetic during sex. When I’m having sex, I see letters, numbers, colors, and – of course – shapes (including rectangles) together in different combinations. Once I cycled through a white 4, a yellow 3 and a robin’s-egg-blue 2. Once it was a magenta R and a brown L. Most often it’s rectangles, of all different colors and dimensions. They can morph from sky blue to lime green to brown to white to yellow. It’s really bizarre, and I’ve never heard of anything like it.

:this image came up in my search for "yellow number 3":

I won’t get too far into color and number symbolization, because there’s just too much there. Check this out for a sweet graph on the subject. However, apparently my yellow 3 makes sense, as yellow is associated, traditionally, with the number three. According to the graph, the yellow 3 means “I am centered.” If I come during a white 4, it makes sense, since white numbers suggest “I am illumined” and represent “the highest kind of understanding.” So much to unpack here.

:which one is orgasm worthy?:

In my quest for that highest kind of understanding, I also learned that the rectangle represents a lot, including:

  • The four cardinal directions.
  • The four major seasons.
  • The four cosmic elements (suns, moons, planets, stars).
  • The four prime elements (fire, earth, air, water).
  • The four common phases of human life (birth, child, adult, death).

Rectangles’ straight lines invoke a “feeling of stasis.” So apparently when I’m seeing rectangles I’m feeling very secure and grounded. Additionally, the rectangle is symmetrical, suggesting structure, order, organization and efficiency. It is a “stable…familiar and trusted” shape that brings to mind “honesty,” “conformity, peacefulness, solidity, security, and equality.”

:pretty much just what it looks like:

Add color into the mix, and rectangles mean even more. The lime green color of my rectangle suggests “possibilities, perception [and] anticipation.” Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), lime green is also an earth color. So my lime green rectangle means that I’m perceiving, open to possibilities, anticipating, but still grounded and stable. Wow. That’s a lot to consider.

So who knows? Maybe I’m working in another dimension here. Or maybe, as Curtis suggests, I’m just mildly autistic.

August 30, 2010. Rectangles, Science, Truth.


  1. AnnW replied:

    You crack me up. When I was little I used to think individual numerals had personalities. For instance, 9 was an old lady. Sometimes I think I am mildly autistic, but we know now that the spectrum is very very wide. John Robison, Augusten Burroughs brother wrote a book, Look me in the eye. It explains his life as a sometimes functioning autistic person. I forgot what the term is. He has been going to Beth Israel hospital in Boston to help them with research about brain pathways. He has been getting some kind of electrical treatment, that has improved his social skills and functioning quite a bit. His blog is Look Me in the Eye, also. Fascinating stuff. Write down your experiences. You could help science.

  2. Emily replied:

    Whoah. Okay.

    I got to your blog by googling the phrase “things that are rectangular” for brainstorming at work, and I can’t believe I actually got a relevant result.

    Also, I think I have a little Synesthesia myself–I see dates in a very specific time line, and I’m pretty sure I also feel other people’s pain differently than most. Like, violence on Family Guy makes me almost puke sometimes.

    Lastly, Parks and Rec. All the way. Saw that post and I just want to back you up. It’s amazing.

  3. site replied:

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