We were free. Moving quick in a white hot breeze. 1977. When the world flew by in lime green.
Slit through a black bowel of public housing. Deep in the middle of the aged carnival colors of blueviolet, aquamarine and bisque. Coney Island. A narrow way forged between the metropolis, slick brown with rot. The summer New York heat penetrated, bounced from dead, white alley cats forming a yellow haze floating neon pungent sluggish slow in still heat. Bright orange, with a burst of unhealthy steel-gray around the edges, like a healthy pink hue that hesitantly abandoned its soul, was there too. Cats and garbage rotted just that way in July. In 1977. In Coney Island. I remember.
The odor scorched the outer part of our pink nostrils until they flared red. But we didn’t care because this moment was designed to be fleeting. The clear blue of escape from a place we should not have been, was near. And as long as that moped motored us out in one piece, alive, all the Sunday ritual – staring at the newly-painted off white walls behind the rich, marbled altar of St. Simon & Jude’s Church would have been worth it.
The lights went out. A deepest black seeped in from the edges. Beige smoke rose above. From everywhere. It suffocated us like a color. Purple maybe. Stopped us dead. Frozen.
Restless white noise. Muffled sounds of agitated souls. Blood-red anger.
Frenzied, white round bursts of bright. Scattered. Flash lights cutting through, getting closer, like silver shards.
In the dim gray mist of yesteryear, when lapels were wider than a McDonald’s Happy Meal and Mayor McCheese still held power over us.
“We need to get out of here. In there,” I pointed. And kept pointing and she knew what I was pointing to. What I meant. Like she could see through midnight blue.
“Fuck no,” she said. A spanish, italian, puerto-rican fire mix of black-coal eyes, deep brown bouncy curls in red spandex and cherry-red heels.
“If you don’t get in the dumpster you’re getting raped and I’m getting robbed,” I said. Heels off. She moved. The color of imminent danger was crimson with dark-red daggers.
We dove boldly into the acrid stench of the mix. Eggplant in color, wet, with sticky blotches of yellow green. The lime-green Puch Moped that was to take us into the wild blue now secured behind the jungle-green metal coffin for the discarded muck public housing didn’t want. Too much green. We puked. The gagging color of cloying hot crimson arose in our noses and throats.
A city summer. In the blackest of blackouts. 1977. I remember the gray shades of memories. The colors brought me back. To an alley. When looters almost discovered a boy, a moped and a girl’s saturated skin with Love’s Baby Soft (always smelled cotton-candy pink to me). All this clear vision from a lone lime-green bicycle I barely noticed. In a driveway. Yesterday. In Houston, Texas. A million miles away – faded into a lemon chiffon of time.
Oh the colors, the colors. Perfect.
Colors have the astounding ability to anchor you back to a time and place for as long as you live. No matter how far to the past you venture. Colors are seeds that blossom the past to the present, immediately. Sort of like songs. Sort of like a person you love, or cherish. If you remember the colors, you’ll know what you feel about a moment is true. And real. Even when others doubt you. Even when you doubt you. The colors make it true. And true is slate blue.
1). How will colors conjure up the past? Today I re-lived the memory of a first dinner. I smelled the thick tapestries of dark & tomato reds. The rich browns of hair and delicate tan of lines, of form, of grace. I’ll never forget the fire-brick colors of what ignited in mind and heart. The reams of gold in the conversation. I re-live those pigments every day.
2). Red & green are the colors of money. When stock markets are green, as they have been since the fiscal cliff (version 1) concluded, I use green to trim growth and profit. When there is red again, a trickle of crimson in the streets, I’m motivated to buy. Use the reds & greens to make smart financial decisions.
3). How will today’s colors form your future? Be careful with the colors you use today to form the thoughts that move you forward. Today I’m staring at coral, firebrick, and forest green from my windows. All soothing, positive colors to me. I’ll make it my business to avoid true dark shades today.
4). What colors will propel you to thank someone today, love someone, be grateful for a communication, a note, one positive word. Close your eyes. Think of those colors. Shamelessly relive the good memories tomorrow of how you changed someone’s attitude. For the better.
Like it’s 1977.
Because times were good.
Because we lived to escape.
The blazing yellow sun eventually showed us the way.
To the blue.
Back on course and lime-green.
And your memory.