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How does Red feel? Like another night of dark dreams, fighting through shadows that resemble fists. There are times when I grow tired of this and think, but only for a moment, that it would be so easy to open my veins and finally be free of them. Then, the thought is gone and with eyes shut tight, I try to remember which is the dream and which is the waking moment and sometimes I remember. And sometimes I do not.

How does Red feel? When I open my eyes again he is standing over me, his dark eyes filled with a hungry longing. What does he want from me? Suddenly I am frightened. I try to sit up, but the best I can do is to lift my head a little ways. A stray thought flits through my head, leaving an ugly feeling, but it is gone before I can put a name to it. I close my eyes again, fighting the panic that suddenly surges through me. Maybe if I think of something happy, something peaceful, it will go away. I frantically search my memory, but come up empty. I’m trying too hard. I give up let the fear take control.

How does Red feel? The darkness is lit by a blossom of red flame. So beautiful yet so sad. Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who fell in love with her loyal knight and she lived happily ever after. Only she didn’t. I look into eyes that are filled with sorrow and horror and guilt and I know she didn’t. Mirrors are not evil by design. They merely show us a reflection of what is, colored by what we know to be true. I once was in love with a monster, a very long, long time ago. Perhaps I still am, despite all the blood and pain, the hurt and sorrow I wore like a Red badge of courage, convinced that I could save him from himself, never thinking that I might need saving too.

How does Red feel? Like rivers, running down your arms, like tears smeared across burning cheeks. Moths fly into flames, we all learn that from the earliest age. And yet, no one tells us why. Is it the heat that draws them or are they just tired of living in the dark? Once again, the image of blossoms rises up in me, watching their wings burst likes super novas and then crackle and blacken. So pretty for the briefest of moments and then gone. Beautiful even in dying.

What does Red feel like? It feels like pain, like anger, like rage. It is the words you spit out, the ones you don’t really mean, the ones you use to hurt. It is the fists that slam into your ribs over and over, the ones that pass through your upheld hands like ghosts. It feels like the accusations you hold within you for years, never letting them be heard, knowing that bulls-eyes are Red for a reason, wondering why no one else realizes how closely they are related to those stupid hearts on Valentine’s day cards. Does no one else get it, that cupid’s arrows pierce hearts? A death blow at any other time and yet somehow on that one day, it is what we long for… Who am I kidding? I felt each and every arrow piercing my skin. Why can’t anyone understand that each time I feel pain, I feel loved? That I am an addict of a different kind, with a cravings that even I can’t understand let alone explain?

How does Red feel? An orgasm is Red. The signs of sexual pleasure all derive from that warm, wet substance that is also life. An erection? Blood filling the penis until it is swollen. A woman’s arousal the same, her nipples, her clitoris, heart beating rapidly leading to climax. There was blood when I lost my virginity and when I had my first period, although which came first is no one’s business but mine. And, when I came home with my first “F” on a history test that I could have easily passed, it was emblazoned in bright bold Red upon the front page. Those three events will always be intertwined in my memory for they were born of the same emotion, one that was as brightly colored Red as my test score.

How does Red feel? How do you describe passion? Each time I sit down to write, I feel woefully inadequate, unable to find the words. None of them does the emotion, the feeling, justice. Fuck is the only word that comes close, and its one I find so beautiful and yet so ugly. Fuck me until I come. Fuck me harder. Fuck you, you fucking bastard, I hope you fucking die. That is passion. I have whole journals written out in black sanford sharpie fine points. Except for one word. Fuck. It’s not a word I use lightly or often, but it is always in Red when it puts in an appearance.

Fuck is not the only Red word. Love and Hate are Red words. Strange, seeing as they should mean such different things. Maybe I am wrong about that. Maybe they are the same word spelled differently? That I even ask that question scares me more then I will ever admit.

How does Red feel? Like betrayal and lies. I once was in love with a knight, fierce and strong, who promised me that no one would ever harm me as long as I loved him true. I wonder, now, whose fault it was that my love faltered, whose fault it was that I discovered how Red truly feels. Those razor lines upon my wrists, the ones I never drew, those tears of blood upon my cheek, staining my palms crimson, those rivers of blood that flow from my body reminding me of the life I held within me for such a brief moment, and of how I let my fear form hands that held it under waters already stained Red. Those are all Red feelings.

How does Red feel? How can you ever describe to someone what it feels like to die if they’ve never died? It is not a blackness, at least not at first. Perhaps, in the end it is, or maybe that too is a lie drawn up by poets who believe that somehow it is like the night falling. It’s not. Black is the color of fear, the fall of night that brings nightmares and loneliness and a longing for daylight that comes so slowly, that is so far away as we measure things in seconds, each breath another small victory.

How does Red feel? I was once thrown through a sliding glass door, a thin cotton dress, fishnets, and thigh high boots my only protection. Red is the sound you hear when you hit something hard and keep going. The sound of glass shattering and the rage of a Monster and the screams that build up in your throat and stay stuck there for the rest of your life until you finally choke on them. Red is not a pretty color and yet, I am drawn to it, over and over. Red ribbons, Red pumps that cry ‘Fuck me’ when I wear them, and yes, the sharp blows of a riding crop leaving Red stripes upon my pale flesh or the sticky Red trickle that I long for as needles break through my skin while I am helplessly bound, both sensations that make me cry out in pain that I no longer can separate from pleasure.

What does Red feel like? I am trying so fucking hard to create new definitions, to write a story, a poem, a drawing, anything that describes how beautiful Red is and, until I do, Red feels like frustration.

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