A Splash of Colors
Exercise Prompt: Write a creative scene about your space from the point of view of a person or object different from yourself. Imagine who might be visiting this space and why? How are they different from you in terms of race, class, age, gender, ability, or other factors that might influence their perception of the space? What would their impressions of this space be? How would they enter the space? Where would their eyes go first? How would they move through the space? What use or value would they find in the space?
It was Saturday morning, counting the last minutes before my alarm clock would set off. The whole night I’d been thinking about making an excuse; maybe I could tell my friend that I was sick, or my mother was taken to the hospital the night before, but I didn’t like the idea of lying to my Bill. He was nice enough to invite me somewhere my parents couldn’t afford and even trusted me to borrow one of his paintball guns. I just couldn’t lie to him, I said to myself. So, I came to the conclusion that I simply had to go. I had to get out of bed and act as if I knew how to play. The problem was that I’ve never played any sports in my life before. My weekends only consisted of playing the piano, painting, and going out of town to find the nearest mall to see the latest fashionable dresses. I found dresses to be a part of me, but as a young boy, I knew I couldn’t just simply walk to the store and start taking all the dresses. I could die here by a homophobic man for merely gazing through the dresses. However, that wasn’t something I need to think about right now. I had to get ready before Bill would come to pick me up.
The road had lasted about an hour or two. It was hard to tell, as my thoughts kept rushing through my mind. What if I’m too weak to carry the gun? What if I make a fool out of myself? I don’t look like Bill. He’s muscular and big, while I’m skinny and fragile. Could I even play? As more of my thoughts began to crowd inside my head, I started feeling goosebumps running down my spine, nervous about what might happen. “We’re here!” Bill’s dad screamed, washing out all my thoughts away, but enough room to create more. However, as we entered the park, I instantly noticed how colorful this place was. It almost reminded me of the pride festival I’d gone to last month.
There were colors just about anywhere; even the two mannequins leaning against the huge sign saying “Welcome to Oxnard Paintball park” were suited up in blue and pink uniforms. Wow! The pink uniform looks nice, I thought to myself as I began analyzing its soft-edging details flowing from the mannequin’s jersey down to its padded pants. But, with a sorrowful face, I knew I would have to go with blue. It was pretty apparent that the park welcomed anyone, whether girl or boy, but the idea of having pink or blue uniforms must’ve been made to distinguish genders. However, as Bill’s dad continue driving inside the parking lot, I noticed something very strange. None of the players sitting at the chairs with their equipment scattered all over the desks were actually dressed up in pink or blue. Each of them had a unique color combination and design running across their masks, jerseys, and pants. All of them laughing and conversating, not worried at all about the person next to them wearing the same colors I’d seen at the mall last week. At that moment, I knew this place wasn’t like any other park. It looked more joyful, and now I had the privilege to pink the same outfit I’d seen before entering the park.
“Hey, George! Focus. We’re about to go next in two minutes,” Bill screamed as I kept getting distracting from the neverending battlefields. I told myself, It was going to be my first game. My first time ever playing a sport, so I had to make the best out of it. However, as we stood there waiting for the referee to blow the whistle, the weight of the gun and ammunition wrapped around my waist began to tire me out. I can’t let this hold me back! Not now, I thought to myself as I kept trying to hold myself together, but as I started looking around, I noticed I wasn’t the only one struggling. There were masked players all holding their guns as if any second now they would let go and would begin to drag themselves out of the game, but around me were also huge bodies, making me feel weak and useless. These players looked so big and buff that not a single sign of struggle was expressed throughout the waiting minutes. I almost began to doubt myself. But I’m already here. I’m already inside the arena. I was already in Oxnard Paintball Park with the first impression that this was going to be bad for me, but not anymore. My pink uniform with the purple-lensed helmet was enough to motivate me that I was capable of playing. That I could be a part of this and be able to wear anything I chose and in that moment, the whistle blew. My first game had now started.