Grayscale: In Review
Grayscale is a series of short stories that look into the lives of others, seeing the world as they do, peering through the windows of their lives. Is it black and white? Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, and Part Three can be found here.
Throughout the series, whether you have realized it or not, we have been looking at mental illness. Together, through these short stories, we have explored what daily life is like for 3 different people experiencing different types of illnesses and afflictions. Here's what you missed:
The color in this one is a bright shade of red. You may have noticed that in the first line, "As she stepped off the curb, she saw the parking spaces, a new shade of red." What color are parking spaces normally? Normally, parking spaces are white, or yellow.
There is also an important interaction with the dog. The depiction of the dog as a bear is not a metaphor. It is how this particular character perceives the dog in her mind. It is as large and ferocious as a bear, just as deadly.
The keen reader will also note that the guard's badge is a bright white, "...the white of his badge shining into her eyes." But yet, the character sees her badge as red, "It was always so hard to find it in her bag, the red blended in too well."
So what is going on with our heroine in this story? Any guesses? How about Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Red is her color, see what other symptoms you can spot!
The color in this particularly somber piece is blue. Though it might not have been obvious at first, after all, only the hue from the nightlight and the walls of the bathroom are first mentioned. But then comes the "blue static," the first indication that the mental illness depicted here is major depressive disorder.
Fatigue is a very big indicator here, as is the lack of enthusiasm for things our character hints that he once enjoyed (his TV show.)
I challenge you, where do you think the first indicator that our character was going to kill himself appears? I'll give you a hint: it occurs a lot earlier than you might expect.
The color in this episode is hidden. Can you find it? No? How about another hint? This one is specific to you. Yeah, you. This last part in the series is about all of us. It's a representation of how we might feel every day; about the struggles and turmoil that go on throughout each of our minds as we struggle to find fulfillment and purpose in our lives, all while hiding behind a smile. The same smile, with its "worn edges."
Where can you see yourself in this part?
Where can you see, feel, smell, and touch the fabric of your own life?
And where can you see and feel the fabric of others? Maybe it's the person next to you at the office. Maybe it's the person walking down the street, that reacts "cowardly" at your "harmless dog."
I have the humble hope that this series has opened your eyes to the world, and more importantly, the people around you. We initiate change by acknowledging that there are others that coexist in this sometimes-crappy place that we call home.
Be kind to one another,