Can You See?

I wrote this over 3 years ago. Finally got around to putting it on the site….

“Really, so what color is this?” asked the salesperson after telling them that I was colorblind. I had long ago expected this to be the default question after making that statement and would answer with a smile and mention a shade of grey. I had also long ago stopped wishing to see colors because there are times when it seems more trouble that its worth. People agonizing over various colors of paint chips, most of which looked pretty much the same to me. Fuscia vs Salmon or some such debate, taking untold time and brain processing power, which seemed like it could be better spent. Dogs are colorblind, and they seem to be some of the happiest animals on the planet. Maybe there is a correlation?

Over time though I realized there were other benefits. True, I could not see color, I could see other things. I could see the proportion and texture of the tie the sales person was holding up. While the patterns would be obvious to anyone, I noticed the the tie narrowed quickly from the widest point, to its narrowest. That the point at the fat part of the tie was ever so slightly off center. That the square pattern with small circles seem to be cut off more on the left side of the tie than the right. The small point of the tie at the narrow end , had a thread peeking out of the, sure to unravel over time. I could see the weave of the base fabric going down as you went left to right, something I doubt anyone would notice. The stitching of the label looked hastily done, obviously finished at the end of the day, or perhaps early in the morning when someone was not fully awake. Yes the tie was created at a suboptimal time, when the person was under great stress. One row of the weave looked raised relative to the others, showing a momentary lapse, perhaps they were called, or reprimanded by a supervisor for being late, or doing shoddy work.

I could see the back of the tie, behind the big point was not completely sewn, showing the person could not finish, obviously having to leave in a hurry. Care for a sick relative? A rendezvous with a lover? A clandestine union meeting, to fight against the oppression of Third World workers? Yes, it was that kind of tie, made by the hand of an oppressed worker. Doing just enough to get paid their below sustenance wages, while secretly plotting with their fellow tie makers a revolution.

It was a tie that that would “catch” on something, causing a snag. Further increasing the look of cheapness, leading to superiors looking at you as inferior. It was the tie that you mistakenly grab in the early AM, in a rush to a meeting. The meeting you spend hours making sure you could tell the blue line from the red in the tens of charts you had prepared. The charts that would guide billions of dollars into one entity or another, changing lives, ruining some perhaps. Capital would be misallocated, causing a deep recession. People would lose their jobs, then their homes. Riots will break out in the streets and governments will collapse. Water, food and medical supplies will be short in supply, further exacerbating and already turbulent situation. The lack of clean water and medical supplies will allow disease to spread, followed by famine and desolation.

Yeah, I may not be able to see color, but I can see that society could unravel, much like that tie….