The Colors of the World


Hair so willowy, light, and attenuated

Like freshly spun buoyant thread constructed from fragile gossamer strands

As golden as the phosphorescent, glimmering sun

Eyes effulgently piercing almost as if they were lightning

Colored cerulean like a flowing ocean that’s deep enough to swim in

An effortlessly beautiful, captivating dream that keeps you afloat on a cloudless sky in midwinter

Skin as white as the velvety snow atop faintly visible mountains that kiss the sun on the horizon

It’s unmistakably yet naturally different from me


A scarlet waterfall descends in a charming tumble of tight, wiry, crimson and carmine ringlets

Fluctuating bouncy coils are luxurious, vibrant, and mesmerizing

Catching the glow of the early morning light, it gleams like a conflagrant blaze

Unable to be extinguished

Tenderly and gently eyes peer out,

Alluring yet mysterious

Dancing about, gracefully and swiftly flashing with passion and euphoria

As chartreuse as the flourishing grass

The green you would expect to find in the snow when it’s winter and spring is nearing

Pale skin, chalky and washed out, dotted with vivacious freckles like the stars in the night’s sky

It’s unmistakably yet naturally different from me


An avalanche of auburn, mahogany, and cinnamon topples down

Creating a surreal illusion of leaves blowing in the light autumn breeze

And when the wind does blow, it tousles it into long flowing waves of tawny russet

As bright and uncommon as an old, rusted, copper penny

Eyes carried a storm inside them,

Cloudy, murky, smoky silver

Lit by the flames of both anger and love

The color of a polished piece of metal with refined, glossy swirls of ebony and cobalt

Skin was like a piquant creamy biscuit

It carried flecks of tan covered by luminous gold

It’s unmistakably yet naturally different from me


I look out and black blocks my vision

Cascading over my shoulders in a smooth, silky drop

As dark as the polished charcoal keys on my grand piano

Melted chestnut adorns my vast almond shaped eyes,

Soft and warm like the chocolate chips on a fresh oven baked cookie

Like hot chocolate, on a cold, rainy day, which engulfs you in safety and assurance

A shade of ginger skin peeks out from the curtain of onyx

And a flurry of strands rush backwards as I tuck it behind my ear

My skin is an ashen bronze, the color of a new teddy bear that reminds you of sweet memories

This time, it is finally me


Gazing about, I see society like an indisputable and auroral rainbow

So diverse, vivid, colorful, chromatic and unique

Ravishing combinations meet my wonder seeking eyes

In a whirlwind of different hues


This divergent world is a gift

Wrapped in radiating wrapping paper

Inside is an entrancing spell of love and difference

This is what I see everyday

Because this is our contemporary and coeval world

Where everyone is beautiful

No matter their colors



10:00 p.m. I should probably be going to bed.

I turn on my lamp and turn off the main light, plunging myself into bed. I prop my leg up on my nightstand, right in the lamplight. The light illuminates my leg, revealing stout and short hairs. They dance in the light. They sing to me. Pick me, pick me. I lick my lips.

I pluck my tweezer from the drawer on my nightstand. I click it a few times, listening to the clank of metal on metal. Slowly, I bring the tweezer to my leg. I grasp a hair. Pull it out. Savor the delicious spark it creates in my nerves. I crave it. I crave more.

I pull, hair after hair, from my leg. The tweezer does an elaborate dance across my skin, biting my prey and swallowing it. I can feel the little hair vanishing from my leg, pulled up by its roots, like a child picking a flower. I have been waiting all day for this, for the quiet time before bed when I can pull at my luxury, aided by the tweezer.

While picking at my leg, I think about my day. I think about how hard it is to pull with just my nails, with the prying eyes of teachers and classmates. I remember them asking what I was doing, assuming I was peeling my skin, and turning away in disgust. But it’s worth it. Each pull brings a sting that feels like beauty in the form of what most people call pain.

I tire of plucking my right leg and move to my left leg. It feels just as good, just as worth the time. When I finish, I stick my foot on the table and scour it for hairs. I pick at a mound of skin that holds an ingrown hair. It bursts open and the hair leaps out, wriggling around, glad for freedom. I take it. I pull it. The nerves send the feeling to my brain. I do another one.

I do the other foot. The logical part of my head screams for me to drop the tweezers, to turn off the lamp, to lie down and charge up for school tomorrow. I don’t listen. I can’t listen. I don’t care. I climb up my body. Legs again. Thighs. I savor the delicious feast of removing hair.

Next, I do the stubby, prickly hairs in my pubic area. I open my underwear and look down, selecting the thick, black hairs to rip out.

Armpits. Hands. Fingers. I slowly become full from my feast. Slowly.

Upper lip. Nostrils. The tweezers go everywhere I need them to go, sliding out hairs like drawers slide out of cabinets.

I lay the tweezer down. Some hairs stick out of it, but most litter the nightstand and the carpet in between the nightstand and the bed. Still, my body begs for more. It wants the stress-relieving reap of the harvest. But I can’t do more. I need to sleep.

11:00 p.m. I turn off the lamp.

I am ashamed. I could have gone to bed early. I should have. But I chose not to. Instead, I pulled. The logical part of my brain yells at me. I need to control myself. Everyday, I promise myself that next time I will go straight to bed. Everyday, I break that promise.


It seems that I will always be a trichotillomaniac.