Tuesday, April 17, 2007

crayon crayola

back in the day i was a color fascist. by "color fascist" i mean i was particularly anal to call each crayon by it's proper name. by "back in the day" i mean at the age of five or six.

i can remember spending time at friend's houses, whiling away the time with coloring books. heaps of books would be strewn about the floor. buckets of crayons were tipped over and scattered. i can remember how the pages and the crayons smelled. it's a particular warm smell that comes out of pulpy, cheap newsprint paper. the paper that filled the books was the same sort that wrapped around the crayon, only the paper was dyed.

i can also remember the particular feel of wrapper meeting waxy crayon...small fingers scratching at the side to peel the edge of paper away...the inevitable discomfort of colored wax jamming underneath my fingernails. coloring was the best. the best.

our hands would plow through piles of crayons in search of the right color. and as time went on we would become more rooted in our spots, less active in getting up and getting our own crayons. orders went out. requests. and that's where it would all take a nose dive for me. a flaming, spinning nose dive of being far too literal for my own good.

someone would ask for "red" and me being me i would give them the red.

"no, the other red" they would plead...a plea that would be answered with a face and a question. the face was a face that was deadpan, humorless. i was terrible.

"oh, you mean MAROON"

...oh, you mean 'brick red'
...oh, you mean 'burnt sienna'
...oh, you mean 'red orange'
...oh, you mean ' orange red'

a tyrant.
i started out a color tyrant.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

...of all the days

i had a lot of plans today. they involved a lot of walking. and as anyone in new england knows today, in a drastic comparison to the past week or so, is a terrible mess of freezing rain and bits of ice. so no risd museum, no letter writing in the jewelry district while drinking coffee and eating bagels, no art supply shopping.

instead i have been inside. i have been huddled away in my bedroom, space heater on, answering emails and fussing with this and that. the news was on at one point, which is when i found out that kurt vonnegut had died last night.

it's funny...there was this brief moment of sadness. kurt vonnegut, much like dinosaur jr., completely spun me in my tracks during those malleable high school years. he helped shape my sense of humor and gave me a new perspective on the world and personal experience. i wasn't surprised by the feeling of loss.

equally, i wasn't surprised when a few moments later i felt maybe pride but definitely a quiet happiness for him. he, like my grandmom who passed this summer at 94, was ready to go...beyond ready to go. if i could, i would congratulate him.