Some days, she can't remember who she is. Words like "And I’m not sure where I belong, And no where’s home and I'm all wrong....And all the dark and all the lies were all the empty things disguised as me" buzz around her head like peculiarly relentless bees, assuming malignant significance.
So she seeks out the sun. Lets the light wash over her face. Feels the warmth soaring through her. Watches her skin darken gradually into a deep mocha brown. Somehow this causes a release of relief. No more bewildering camouflage.
Browning skin reminds her elusively of something. Maybe half imagined, half remembered afternoons filled with the smell of Madras summers and the silent patter of flying feet. Long-ago tree branches conquered by dangling legs and lazy talk. Running around in pigtails, flushed and breathless, bent on some game more serious than all of life itself.
She doesn't know. But the reminder is reassuring, grounding somehow.
She steps back into the cool of air conditioning feeling like she's been reintroduced to herself. This is me, she feels like she's flying a banner. Proclaiming it contentedly to every one of the disinterested. This is me.
Like a pigmentary badge of honor, fleeting in victory, fading to anonymity in pokey disused corners of the attic, rediscovered on rainy afternoons. An affirmation of things that make a life.