Red is the color of passion and heat and fire. Red is the color or both confusion and desire. Embarrassment fills your cheeks with red hot heat and flushes your face and your ego with red mask of shame. Flushing red feeling flush heat intolerance is a symptom of my Anxiety. I am anxious and embarrassed about my flushed cheeks so my cheeks flush and I feel more embarrassed and more flush and the anxiety rises. Heat intolerance is feeling uncontrollable heating when the temperature of the environment rises even 1 degree. Heat intolerance made my father think I was a prissy princess crying “I’m hot! I’m hot!” from the backseat as the temperature inside rose so readily I felt like I was going to explode in the South Florida heat and humidity and sunshine. The air coming from the A/C was always hot and wet first. Max A/C kept the must out. Max A/C took the longest to cool down but cooled down the most. “We are all hot!” he would yell back as if my daring to speak up about the discomfort was more than he could bare. WE ARE ALL HOT! It’s Florida for Christ sakes! Sitting in a managers meeting, the smallest room with the biggest men and as the temperature starts to rise, I feel my blood boiling under the surface. I feel the boil I feel the heat. I feel the flush. FLUSH. Royal flush, I hold the backs of my hands to my cheeks to attempt to cool them with my skin. I hold my hand against something that is cool and I pressed it to my heated throbbing skin hoping for relief as we discuss the quarterly projections and how we stack up for the quarter prior. “Danielle’s doing a great job!” My boss says which adds a deeper layer to the flushing that has flooded my face, not only heat intolerance but now embarrassment being called out, even for something good, in a room of my peers makes me feel like an apple polisher. A red apple. A treat for the teacher. I was always an apple polisher to be honest. I don’t understand how to do something half assed. I am by the book and task are completed from A-to-Z. I dabble in perfectionism and I challenge myself to complete any task I take on. I pride myself in my abilities and love the accomplishment of a job well done, I live on raise and actively reject it at the onset. Notice I am doing a good job, but don’t go on and on about it. Always the apple polisher, never the brown noser, I am not one to consider complimenting without merit or sucking up to someone. You either respect me for my work or you do not. The work speaks for itself. Red is the color of revolution, of change, or socialism and the symbol of the anger and fear it takes to charge a people. Red is m=y husbands favorite color. Red is every shirt on his shelf. Red is power. Red is a power tie. Red is my interview color. I used to wear a high neck red shirt under a black sweater to mimic a power tie. I nailed those interviews. Red is a fire around me. Red is Leo. Red is Lion. The rash starts red. A throbbing formal red in the shape of a butterfly. The rash does not go away. The red deepens until it is purple, but it does not go away. The malar rash is an indicator of my health. The malar rash means my body is sick. The malar rash is a badge of struggle passed from grandmother to mother to me. The malar rash is my warning. A flare up is coming. The flare. The heat. The flame. The flush. The rash. The power. Red is the start of the rainbow. Red is the color of lips and lust and blood. Red is the color of war and violence and death. Red is the color of birth and life. Red is life. From that first cell and the blood that pumps through the veins of the person who loves and laughs and embodies all of the human spirit in the liquid that moves oxygen and delivers life to the cells in the body.