I grew up thinking that black is black and
white is indeed white and that there’s nothing
else to describe the colors. No one ever told me
that blood, love, anger can be used for red. Or
pure, pristine can be used to substitute white. Or
how the color of my eyes can be a perfect synonym
for the color brown. And no one ever told me that
the bruise I got from my father can replace purple.
At the age of eight, I looked at myself in the mirror
and all I could think of were the words ugly, fat arms,
uneven fringe, four-eyed, inept, short, weird and all
those things that I usually hear during lunch. That was
when I found out that my name is synonymous to those
words. I grew up thinking that that’s all I can ever be.
No one ever told me, not even my parents, that true lexical
synonymy is rare. And I am not synonymous to those words.
But somehow, I found out that not all synonymous words
can be interchanged. A roller coaster ride can never be
titillating. His lips on my deepest folds is not simply an
act that excites me. But I never knew that when he said
that he wants to ‘mess me up’, he actually meant exploiting
everything that my young and naive frailty could give him.
And when I met him, the guy who proved to me that lexical
synonymy is indeed rare, I stopped comparing people to the
way leaves fall or how they crumble against a person’s feet.
My name was no longer synonymous to horrible, horrible
words. I was no longer synonymous to ugly. Instead, I wrote
his name and my name on a piece of paper. Folded it, kept it
in my journal and wished — still hopelessly wishing — that our
names will be synonymous to a love that lasts forever. But then,
his eyes that put the moon to shame are constant reminders
that true lexical synonymy is rare. But I’m still hoping that we’re
part of the things under the category of ‘rare’.
true lexical synonymy is rare