Color me alive.
Once upon a time if I could make everything mine it would all be colored black and silver, the colors of heavy metal, the color of swords and shields, strength and don’t fuck with me. Then again, if I could make everything mine it would be the black and the red. And yet, in between all those days, the little girl of me loved Victorian decor (or kitsch, if you are so inclined) pink dangling lampshade beads, floral prints, heavy dark wood, ridiculously ornate, god I was born late, how could this same girl love the Victorian and yet crave the black and the silver?
All I know is that I refuted brown. Brown was against everything I stood for. Brown was a curse word. Brown was a daily something I could not fight against. Brown. Sepia. Diarrhea. At least black had magic and silver had fight and red was blood and power, but brown felt useless and undignified. My father wore brown polyester slacks every day. I don’t know how many pairs he had, same with his socks. He wore brown velour shirts every day, too. I don’t know if he wore his brown armor under his coveralls working for the electric company, but every time I saw him at home it was brown. His eyes were brown like the color of our Volare station wagon and the color of my eyes, the color of coffee he let me sneak from a teaspoon. He once told me a joke when I was young: “Why are your eyes brown? Because you’re full of shit up to here,” and he pointed to his eyebrows. Har har har.
I’ve spent many a year shunning the color brown, the color of our carpets, the couch, Dad’s recliner, later the color of the roof, the floor, more carpet, and life itself. I sought color in a world of brown. There has to be more to life than the color of dead grass.
I have an opportunity to create my own world right now in an apartment two stones throw from the bay. The wind is high today; it creates suction and plays with my bathroom door, but I relish the fresh air and the leaves of my plants flapping. The walls are painted dead canary, or, to be more specific, pale urine. I wanted to make this space a nautical or maritime place, but piece by piece, my world is allowing earth tones to come in. And you know what earth tones are, don’t you? Brown. I hung valances today that are silky ivory, green, burgundy, so I bought a futon cover that matches, and guess what? The panels range from grey to cranberry to brown. I bought two chairs from a neighbor and their cushions are patterned in earth tones with brown. My apartment is changing from rebellious empty with a few pillows with anchors on them to a user-friendly earthy vibe. I guess it had to change because I learned that sweat and sandy feet and blood stand out on this ivory futon cushion covered in demure Victorian roses, and I am embarrassed to let anyone sit there. I am acquiescing to earth tones that include brown, and I struggle with the brown. And I smile sardonically. Life is too bloody for me to have ivory sheets, it seems, but I am learning that I am not made of shit up to here. Brown is not the enemy and never was.
Come change with me. It feels good.