I woke up to snow this morning. I fed Chey and let her out. She made a tight circle in the front yard and
headed back. “No,” I commanded, pointing to the yard. Turning around she headed
back out. Suddenly she broke into a
gallop and disappeared behind the tree line. I heard the grinding of gears and
tiny voices. My dog was boarding the
school bus and I was standing on the front porch barefooted in my bathrobe. I
tried calling her, but she was gone. “I think it belongs to that man,” I heard
a small voice say.
Do I like you? I
hardly know you. I do read you. I think that is what you meant. I read many
of you, although, I read a different set of you than I used to with the advent
of the “advent”. It is because I read
out of the advent pool now, and I read daily as I write. It is how I frame my
mind for this. That, unless I am in the
middle of a series already hell-bent for a hundred ways to write a hundred
words on the color, blue. Then, I might not notice you.
Blue has wrinkled in the sky. People stopped on the side
walk to stare at it over the tops of the buildings. In the country, several cars pulled off along
the road to look. One man is taking a
picture, his tie blowing out to the side in the wind. Governments, scientists, philosophers, and
crackpots the world over are discussing Blue’s meaning. Blue wonders. He has always been there. He has just never wrinkled in this particular
way before. He thinks perhaps he has made
a mistake in calling attention to himself this way. Things are going to change now.
I found myself this morning answering the “Where-I’ve-been”
question. It is in my nature to
disappear from time to time and people always want to know about it. “Where have YOU been?” I have finally found the right answer: “I was kidnapped by aliens.”I simply say.
They nod and continue elsewhere with their conversations. I’ve tried other
answers. They just lead to more
questions and more difficulties. The
building homes for the dispossessed in South America, for example, did not
work. In the Hospital? I don’t think so.
“Kidnapped by aliens again.” Yes. They
nod. You? Of course. What else?
Blue – 3
You guessed it. I was
kidnapped by aliens. Blue aliens. I was in a bit of a blue mood and was once
again hauled off into the wild blue yonder.
Yep, blue aliens. Not little
green men. Large Blue women. Well, I was not sure of the sex. I mean, I
don’t know if they had sex. They could have been tri-sexual for all I
know. Or maybe they were sexed by
color. Maybe they were meeting up later
with the little green men for cocktails and blues in the Blue Room. Blew me away, I tell ya.
The world is turning blue.
It is the snow, of course. Or
perhaps it is the cold. It seems that the colder it gets, the bluer it gets. Is
it reflecting the sky? Is there some
temperature gradient that is displayed in the tint of blue in ice? It is like this, when everything is covered
with snow, when the branches of trees each hold out arms full of the stuff, and
when you only have to scratch the sky to get a face full; this is when the
world turns blue. It is the true color
her own history
Her own name
Her own –
hide her face in dark corners.
syllables filling your mouth
than blue itself
Indigo is the
ageless wife of a young
whose secrets and
the globe in a ball of yarn.
In pieces of
dried and broken pigment.
sidewalks and alleys
On the holiday
Blue – 6
Blue Green is unsure of himself. He doesn’t want to leave the house. He feels somehow less than pure. If he could move, tilt, somehow get the green
all to one side, split the atom, become blue again… But, some suggest he never was blue, that he
was created the way he is. There was
never a moment of purity. He will grow
old in a cage of off-colored miss-splendor.
Crayon 62 in a box of 88, and who cares if the dog drags him out one day
and eats him? Who is going to miss Blue
Blue Orange? Who ever
heard of such a thing? He wishes. But there he is, dangling. He grits his teeth
every time he hears Blue Green complaining.
Blue Green can at least aspire to Turquoise. Blue Orange is wanted only for his
freakishness. No one really wants
him. Move along. Find somewhere else. He moves, face into the wind, into the deep
of night, fists of anguish shoved deep into his pockets, shoulders hunched into
shame he doesn’t deserve, eyes perpetually wet with incipient tears. He looks up into the dawn. The sky, she is turning blue orange.
My friend Matthew was writing a thing called Blue Log before
his death. I am not sure that I grasped
the meaning of the title, or that I ever will. Matthew’s writing life was one
large bucket of interwoven metaphors, pointing to one another in obscure
reference. There were perhaps thousands
of them and they kept coming back again, repeating like a blues bar. He kept large collages, colorful and
intricate, that were maps of these metaphors, maps perhaps of his mind, and he
loved to show them, explaining the connections between the various parts. Yes, I
Cerulean blue carries himself with a certain pride. When it comes to blue, he is it with a Capital
T, right here in Crayola City. The worst
thing anyone can find to say about Cerulean Blue is that to call him that is a little redundant,
because cerulean is blue in all its blueness without any blight or blemish,
without any tint or tarnish of another color. Primary among all primaries. Let red be a little loud if he wishes. Cerulean knows who rules the sky and the
seas. Face it. The rest is just greens
Blue – 10
Its evening, not morning.
Blue Moon can hear his clock ringing ringing ringing. It won’t stop ringing. A large hairy hand reaches out from the
covers and paws around on the nightstand for the clock. Finding it, he lowers his fist crushing it
sending poor thing clattering to the floor.
Blue is basically lazy. He knows he doesn’t really have to get up but
one in a blue moon, so he rarely bothers to.
Sleep is more his métier. Blue moon pulls his cover more tightly around
him exposing a large hairy butt. It is
blue of course.
Blue – 11
Cobalt Blue is a tough old guy. My father has cancer. It is a patch of skin on top of his
head. He would not say what it was at
first, describing the various treatments that had been tried and its insistent
return. I heard the word in my head before he said it. He is 87. “Why are you
still alive?” the doctor asks him when he arrives. He must be scared. But then, I never know quite how these things
affect me. They show up in funny ways. I
start crying for no reason at all.
Blues for Christmas. I call my sister who is a nurse and
lives next door to my parents. She
answers the phone. “Dad has cancer?” I ask.
She laughs. Apparently not. “If that was cancer, it would have killed him
already,” she says. That was what I had
thought from what he had described. She
goes on, explaining things I already know.
My brain is catching up to the revision that my father does not have an
advanced cancer on the top of his head.
I saw him two weeks ago. How did
I miss such a thing?
Blue – 13
We are sailing down the Blue Nile. It isn’t blue. I’m not shocked. It is green.
A bile green, a vile bile green.
But I have begged many questions.
Who are we? How did we get up the Nile in the first place? Was it blue
when we started? Of course it was blue
when we started. We started way up and
about 2300 years ago. We have had to change ships twice and crews so many times
I have lost count. Why is it taking us so long to sail down the Nile? Why so
Blue – 14
Behind the blue door was darkness, but incredible as it may
seem, it is the door itself that interests us today. It is heavy and warm to the touch as the blue
paint absorbs the sun beating on it.
There are many coats of paint, and the most recent coat appears to have
been applied recently. There are no
windows on the door, only a large wooden panel framed with molding that might
have been a window at one time. This too is covered with a heavy coat of blue
paint. Even the ancient lockset is painted blue.
Blue – 15
Blue Lizards have been migrating north. It seems the cold
weather agrees with them. They have
helped the real estate markets in the smaller towns they seem to prefer. Typically, they buy in town, smaller homes, and
when they cannot find what they are looking for they are not averse to demolishing
larger buildings to build what they want.
Biologists have been puzzled about this migration for some time, as the
Blue Lizards are cold-blooded like any other lizard. They are obviously more intelligent than
most, but this does not explain their ability to withstand the Michigan
Blue has perhaps come of age. Perhaps not.
It has occurred to him that he has boundaries, that he has a limited
life-span. It is defined as one hundred
days of 100 words. He knows when he will
die. He has become aware of the painful
limitations of his existence. He has
already lived fifteen of his allotted days, and while he does not feel he has
necessarily wasted them, he wonders if he would have done things differently
had he known from the beginning. Still,
Blue has 85 days left. It is something.
He has things to do.
Blue wakes up on day 17 full of anticipation. There are so
many things to do. He must make
plans. Decisions. A finite life cannot be wasted. It must be
planned. He must live in the right
place, somewhere he can suck up life to the fullest. He must be properly educated. He must travel. He must…he stumbles. Educated. How can he possibly get an
education in 83 days? He would spend his
whole life in the university and would learn nothing. He would not live at all. He could spend his whole life reading
Shakespeare and gain nothing.
Blue gets a call from characters from another 100-Words
series and goes drinking. The bar is
piled in with snow, but is crowded and cozy inside. Blue settles on beer, and drinks Bass for a
while, switching to Zombies later in the evening. He goes home with a wide-faced girl with blue
eyes who sat across the table from him most of the night. He is intoxicated from the alcohol, and he is
intoxicated from the feel of her skin, from her torso, from her touches. Blue makes love to her. He worships her body
like a drunken priest.
Blue wakes up with a hangover and with Betsy who sleeps on
her stomach. She is uncovered and he marvels at her hair, and the curve of her
back. He looks at her feet and studies
one of her hands which seems too perfect.
He moves too quickly and his head is shot full of perfect pain. He has to go pee. When he comes back from the bathroom Betsy is
getting dressed. She has to go to work. He feels disappointed. He feels sick to his stomach. He feels a strange elation every time he
looks at Betsy.
Blue – 20
Blue spends the day thinking about Betsy and trying to get
past his hangover. He goes for a
walk. It is cold and raining. He stops
at a diner for breakfast. It is 3 p.m.
and the hash browns and eggs seem to make him feel better. He slops back out into the rain and thinks
about Betsy working downtown. He wonders
if he should get a job. His somewhat limited life seems to be set up with
sufficient income. Still, if he worked
he could be closer to Betsy. He wonders what kind of work she does.
Blue – 21
It is evening. Blue
has not heard from Betsy for 48 hours. He
does not have a telephone or her number.
He does have a keenly etched memory of the removal of her panties that plays out in his
head in slow motion, millimeter by millimeter. This memory includes sound, and
the movement of her leg against him. It
includes smell and even the chemical reactions within his body. He cannot stand it. He decides to go see her. She answers her door, opening it an
inch. He smiles. “I have someone here,” she says. Blue goes away.
Blue – 22
Blue goes home to his rented room, which is half a block from
Betsy’s apartment. Kneeling on the
floor, he puts a record on his turntable, and turns on his amplifier. He sits on his bed. He is not thinking about anything. Somewhere his mind is fumbling the concept
that Betsy can accommodate someone else while he can barely accommodate anything
but Betsy. Somewhere his mind is sorting
out the implications of Betsy’s accommodation of someone else. Does this mean she does not wish to accommodate
Blue anymore? How is Blue “supposed” to react?
Why doesn’t he know?
Blue – 23
It is Christmas. Blue knows this. But he is aware that he has a limited life
span. He has 78 days left, and his days
are quite short. He thinks it does not
make sense to spend a day celebrating Christmas when he has so little
time. He looks out his little window
into the backyard of the house behind.
The rain has turned to snow. The Christmas people will have snow to
celebrate. He is feeling a little sad
still about Betsy. He is thinking it is
not a good day to go bother her. He
It is the day after Christmas. Blue is coming down the
stairs from his room. His landlord, an
elderly lady is waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Her head is shaking. She is not shaking her head. It is shaking her. “You can’t have those wires under your
carpet,” she says. They will start a
fire. You aren’t supposed to be using
that much electricity.
“They are speaker wires,” says Blue. They don’t have that much electricity in
them. It’s a little amplifier.”
“I can’t afford a big electric bill,” she says.
Blue is already out the door.
Blue slid down the snow-slicked sidewalk. Christmas garbage
already sat outside some of the houses.
Blue walked past Betsy’s apartment, glancing at her door. It was a walk-down. He did not know what to think. He tried thinking
about nothing. He walked over to Ashley
and to the Fleetwood for breakfast. Then
he found himself walking past India Motorcycle sales. He wandered in and met
Ali. It wasn’t long before he was
slip-sliding out on a ’69 BSA Lightening.
Ali had to help him push it up the ramp, but after that the big wheels
kept it pretty stable.
Blue was learning to ride his motorcycle. It scared him, and
he rode slowly, sometimes shaking more than the bike did. Gradually it became part of him. He liked to ride, although it bothered him a
little, because he felt riding the motorcycle wasn’t really a means to anything
significant. He felt he should be doing
something with his life. It was already one-fourth over and he had yet to
establish a direction or a purpose to it.
Blue spent a lot of time sorting this out. He thought about selling the motorcycle, but
in truth he loved it.
Blue met a young man about his age at a gas station on the
other side of town. His name was
Fred. Fred had a Honda 450 and they soon
became friends. One night Fred and Blue
were out late and Blue offered to let Fred stay at his room because Fred had to
work in the morning, and his home was in another town about twenty miles away. In the morning, Blue’s landlady kicked him
out for letting Fred stay in his room, explaining she was a Christian lady and
didn’t allow “none of that” in her home.
This was how Blue moved in with Fred and his family. Fred lived in a small town on a river with
his mother, father, and two brothers. He
had two older sisters and an older brother or two who had already left
home. His mother, who was in the final
stages of cancer had been moved into a Florida room off to the side of the
house. Blue wondered if they had
Michigan rooms in Florida. Fred had an
old Chevy station wagon that he showed up at Blue’s room to get Blue’s
things. It only took one trip.
It was a small town, without very much to do. Fred, his brothers, and his father were gone
much of the time. Blue spent a lot of time talking to Fred’s mother. He found
that although she was close to death herself, she had a first-class mind and a
lot to say. She liked to have Blue read
to her or just talk to her. Blue liked
talking to her. He also learned to ice
skate and in the evenings would go skate on the river. He also liked riding his motorcycle on the
icy country roads at night.