Color of Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Musings of meeting new people.

Submitted: January 21, 2015

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Submitted: January 21, 2015

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~~Color of Me
Aaron
I’ve never understood why a new acquaintance always wants to know my favorite color. Ask about family or work or something like that—things that matter. Instead, “What’s your favorite color?” remains one of the top three questions somebody asks as part of an introduction. I refuse to provide a meaningless one-word reply any longer. Instead, I must advise: if you were just trying to make trite conversation, like people usually do, don’t bother. Only if you truly want to know should you care to know that red was once my favorite color.
 Red is life pumped throughout my body. Red is delectable and juicy like the insides of a watermelon. Red is crisp and delicious as an apple. Red is healthy, a box of Shredded Wheat cereal. Red is practical and safe—alarm signals, stop signs, stop lights, brake lights, road flares. Yet, red is danger like a bullfighter. And I hate the Red Sox. Plus those stupid little red laser pointers are nothing but annoying. So, red soon lost its intrigue.
 Naturally, I turned to green. Green is my beloved home, the Pacific Northwest. The grass and trees whistling in the wind. Fresh pine so gratifying in scent. The liveliness of it all perpetuated by rain that makes green even greener. Deep emerald eyes of a woman. Attractive, sensational, yet peaceful and calming. Green is go; it’s exciting and active. Even you can’t deny that little feeling of joy every time you approach a green light. Green is healthy and pleasant, like broccoli, celery, sprouts, and spinach. Green is a role model, the one we want to emulate, like envy, such as my own mother with her sparkling green earrings I gave her to remind her of my birthstone. The charming green rind of a watermelon so smooth and protective. It’s the same green as the skin of a cucumber or pickle. Green is contrast as the stem of a strawberry. Green is amiable, sweet as a kiwi and sour as a lime. Even better, green is money. We want green. We need green. We can’t go without green. But the inevitable changing of green in the fall matches the inevitable changing of the mind on a whim.
 Sure enough, green gave way to blue. It was the sky that did it. Flying on an airplane in a window seat, peering out into the tranquility of never-ending blue. Jumping off that airplane with a parachute, floating downwards, away from the live scent of blue. Blue is swimming in the ocean, surrounded by serenity. It is refreshing. Blue helps you start anew. Smell the salt of blue and breathe in its purity. Feel the calmness of blue, grab it in your hands, clench it in your teeth. You say blue is the hue of sadness, but you’re mistaken, believe me. Blue is invigorating; it’s revitalizing. Blue is a sign along the highway for a rest stop, a signal of relaxation and renewal. Blue is permanent as ink on a page. It is a symbol of masculinity in gender, always worn by young boys. Blue is the color of my beloved Mariners. But blue became infamous. Monica Lewinski’s dress replaced my old associations with blue and made it a sickening hue.
 Then I turned to the royalty of purple, worn by old-time monarchs, signifying class and privilege. Its power and dignity enticed me powerfully. Purple contains the scrumptious delights of grapes and plums. Purple is the soft crunch through the outer skin into the succulent flavors inside. Purple is a strange color for a dinosaur, unless it’s named Barney. His happy purple demeanor contrasted by the purple of pain: bruises and contusions. Such pain carries over to the purple gagging of chewing a piece of cabbage. Purple is the disappointment I feel when I find bitter cabbage in an otherwise edible salad. Happiness and bitterness contrast each other and make purple hypocritical. I could take it no more.
 Perhaps because I think of them so similarly, pink was my next color of choice. It’s the pink of endlessly chewing on bubble gum, blowing it up and hearing it pop as it explodes with stickiness onto my lips and around my mouth. The pink gum squirts saliva about my jaws, delivering pleasure to the awaiting taste buds of my also pink tongue. Pink is little baby shrimp I can pop into my mouth and devour. Pink is a pretty little bow on a gift or a young girl’s blouse. Pink is the color of a confident, secure man’s business shirt. Pink is the most delicate and charming of roses, standing in contrast to the filthy Porky Pig statue behind the big pink house on the corner of my old neighborhood. Pink is encompassing of much sensation, but it sometimes brings ridicule. Thus, I denied my love of pink in favor of orange.
 Orange is helpful. It is a carrot that improves vision, a road sign warning of detours and construction ahead. Orange is the old chair from my first apartment—ratty and unsightly, yet familiarly inviting and contentedly comfortable. Orange is change. We are wary of it, but we need it. Orange is the leaves in autumn falling elegantly to the ground, making room for new ones. Rebirth is an orange cycle. Orange is my brother’s old wrestling shoes, each match a new opportunity for victory. Orange is vibrant and bright, puts a smile on my face, much like the smiles I carve into pumpkins, automatically birthing jack-o-lanterns in combination with the orange flames burning inside them. It’s the same flame seen on a birthday cake, a symbol of annual resurrection. It’s the same orange you and I have deep within ourselves. Its touch is warm, even scalding at times, but when dormant, unlit, it is nothing. But such an abundance of orange around Halloween grows tiresome and nauseating. Orange, too, disappeared in favor of another.
 After orange came brown for its simplicity and usefulness. Brown is wood from trees used as foundations and strongholds. Brown is a wooden door, a gateway to experience. Brown—so basic, yet powerful. Brown is escape, like the exit of your personal waste, like the grass relieving its life through death. Brown is a football, held in the hand and sent sailing through the air, perpetuated by human power, yet freed by letting go. Brown is fuzzy and ticklish like the carpet beneath my naked feet in the first house that I grew up in. That carpet I used to lie in with a coloring book in front of me and a box of Crayolas beside me. Picking out different crayons constantly while carefully trying to stay inside the lines. All the while maintaining extreme comfort within the brown of the floor. I’d lay my head down to brush my bare cheek against the sprawling fibers of brown and feel the tickle on my skin, wondering if that’s what it would feel like to have a beard. I know now that it’s much different. Brown is itchy. Brown is scratchy. Brown is coarse and bushy upon my face. Brown is the familiar sight atop my head I take in each morning in front of the mirror. I didn’t know brown like that back then. After I finished coloring, I’d go outside, play in the dirt. That brown gave me energy to run around, get dirt all over my face, and rejoice in my own filth. That same brown that energized me gives life to everything that springs out of it. Brown is fertile; it grows things tall and mighty. It is the soil out of which all life bursts. Ah yes, it is brown that is most minimal and functional at the same time. But with age came increased curiosity. Thus, brown’s utility gave way to yellow’s mystery.
 Yellow, the caution tape around a crime scene invoking wonder and suspicion. What happened? What was inside? The yellow of a stoplight, forcing a guess as to when it would finally go red. It is the bizarre wonder of why urine turns yellow when it is surely supposed to be clear. Yellow is Big Bird and Tweety. It is cartoonish and childlike. Yellow is education—a school bus transporting excited young children and their #2 pencils necessary for assignments, bubble sheets, and learning. Yellow is healthy: bananas and lemons. It is dandelions persistently reappearing, inspiring awe of the perseverance under the yellow sunlight above. Yellow, though, is the familiar sight of a Cliff’s Notes cover that tempted classmates to glide through high school with minimal effort or engagement. That same yellow is the woe of jaundice and the perilous buzz of a bumblebee. Yellow is both stubborn and mysterious, but sometimes, I want answers.
 The gray area, contrary to popular belief, often provides those answers. Like gray hair so distinguished and knowledgeable. Gray is connection to others; it is my cell phone, used daily. It is a toilet-flushing handle, common and realized. The silvery gray of coins, exact measures of value and trade. Those gray coins reverberate clinks in your pocket or roll in your hand as ridges rub your palm, helping you know exactly the place of each coin. But gray is seen actually as imprecise. It is the area of vagueness where there is no right or wrong. Gray is an uncertain situation. Still, gray is mending and universal like duct tape. Unavoidable at best, invasive at worst, gray is simultaneously ambivalent and circular. Still a comfortable choice for clothing, not too bright but not too dull, either, it is routine, accepted as all-purpose and collective. But while gray approaches the versatility I love, there’s one even better than gray, even better than all the rest, because it is a composite of them all.
 All colors have fallen from status as my favorite, making way for white. White now prevails. It is all of them. What we call white is actually a rainbow of color packed into a small space. All the goodness that once was of red and green, of blue, purple, and pink, plus orange, brown, yellow, and gray are contained within white. White is complete, the result of plenty of eminence. White is wonder from above in the moon and the clouds. That same wonder visits us on the ground as snow, accumulating into a glossy white blanket as far as we can see. White is pure, baptism and marriage, a blank sheet of paper. White is the urge to achieve—the heart of love and emotion. White is life, but the brightest white still awaits me in death as it is the light that will call me and usher me in. White is ultimate unity of color separated only by a prism. White is everything and everywhere.
 So, to answer your question, I claim white as my favorite color only because it is made of all the colors together—but remember, that says nothing about me.
 


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