It was always blue (wow I think this is 10)

It was always blue


Actually it wasn’t always blue. In college I used to say that it was black because I felt sorry for it, black because no one else ever chose it. And black is very rich indeed and I still wear it all the time, have ever since I started smoking at 18 and it’s been almost forty years but I don’t remember saying that about black but my old friend Lloyd told me that I used to say it and he thought it was funny, which is why I said it duh. And way back in sixth grade when we finally had the house painted after many years of not having the house painted after writing on walls and leaving cruel caricatures of each other on them and resting our greasy heads on them and spilling milk and sodas on them and laying on the cheap wall to wall carpeting and rubbing our grubby feet on them, that’s when I chose yellow, lemon yellow, sunshine yellow—whatever it was childhood I’m not going into it—which choice fortunately was tempered by three other walls in a pale pale creamy yellow so anyone who came to my 6th grade slumber party could see my budding sense of restraint, my respect for the fine off-whites except they couldn’t because the furniture I’d chosen at just around that time was bright yellow nearly neon yellow and the bedspread I’d chosen for my matching twin beds was yellow yellow not-mellow yellow with some red and green. Fun fun fun. Again, not going into it. Still, over the years I joined the rest of humanity and chose everyone’s favorite color blue, blue blue. True blue, like a pack of cigarettes the parent’s smoked. Not that really, and not denim blue but navy blue is the one I like, Yale blue, Vreeland blue, and occasionally as for my wedding invitations which were an enormous and grandiose splurge a dusty grey shade known as French blue, which is I guess very nearly confederate blue—I never thought of that before—gross—but the ink was expensive and I was sure that meant my husband and I would be happy and rich and sophisticated ourselves, which we might appear to be if you stand at the other end of the football field. Ahem. And truly I’m surrounded by olive my glasses are olive, three jackets are olive, several scarves olive, I’ve had years of olive which is Saturn’s color, the color of the lord of lead, the king of failures, a color for depressives, a color for armies who traipse in the mud, a color for European landed gentry and for autumn and its various heartbreaks. Favorite sweater olive. Favorite corduroys I wish I still owned olive. But still, even today if you stop me on the street, or if just now I see the word “color” in a poetry prompt? Blue, baby.

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