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There was a guy at the party who could read people’s auras. He can only sense it with a person he’s never seen before, or someone he knows but rarely sees. The signals are strongest when he lays eyes on the person for the first time, or the first time in a long time. After some time in the person’s presence his aura becomes unnoticeable, as if it has blended and faded into the surrounding air.

Of course I didn’t know any of this when I arrived at the party. I just went straight for the host, who’d invited all her artist friends—painters, poets, filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians—to that intimate but lively birthday dinner at her Teachers’ Village apartment. I didn’t know the other guests, but did not have any trouble engaging in conversation.

We had all had at least two rounds of red wine each when this guy, the one who could read auras, addressed me, asking, did I believe in energies? Because, he explained, when I entered the house, he saw orange light surrounding my body, and I was by far the person with the most unmistakable aura among those present in the gathering.

That’s what he said. I had an orange aura. So I asked him what it meant and he said that a person’s aura, whether it’s some color or some texture or some geometric shape, can be interpreted best by the owner of the aura herself. What do I personally attribute to the color orange?

I smiled. Orange never really figured in any special memories, except one. That memory came rushing back to me at that moment: When you told me you were color-blind, and orange was the only color you could see.

Orange was the only color you could see.