PRATIE PLACE

Saturday, May 05, 2007

On silence and a detested color.

This is the 1,435th post on Pratie Place; from Day 1 in January of 2005 through most of last year I posted devotedly every single day. Obviously, since then I've become a more occasional blogger.

The morning after mid-term elections in 2002, I turned on the radio as usual. I was muy impactada to hear there had been a rout and the Republicans were everywhere. My response? I turned off the radio and stopped my newspaper. The blackout has been more or less continuous ever since.

Once in a while I relent - I peek at the headlines or turn on NPR for a moment just to see if the wind has shifted - for good or ill - for instance, is a hurricane coming? Sadly, what I hear in these sporadic 20-second blasts of misery convinces me the boycott must continue. One unfortunate consequence is that I don't have much access to the funny or interesting stories I used to blog about. I had to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The Wall Street Journal recently had a story on how people at luxury resorts fight furiously for the "good" lounge chairs near the pool. They sabotage each other, shout ... give huge tips so the workers will overlook their flouting of the "rules" .... furiously disdain chairs in "Siberia" ... well, once I would have blogged about that but now it makes me too irritable. It's not good for my blood pressure to think about it.

Also, my life has become so solitary that I'm no longer in the habit of speaking or writing. Studying, painting, playing tunes with Bob - this is what I do now.

I'm sublimating my disgust with the world; I'm finding and arranging songs of murder and disaster, and doing painting studies for the cd cover. There's no end to the number of wicked people I'd like to put in my "Last Judgement Day" parody, but there is a definite limit to how much space I have... I wake up thinking, I'd like to get back to that painting. And I do. That's the time I used to spend blogging...

So while I was painting this morning, I was thinking about how much I hate the color "Royal Blue." I once had a not-very-good red bicycle (a Schwinn) which I loved; my ex-husband, who was at that time a bike mechanic, convinced me to get a much better bike. Sadly, it was only available in royal blue. "You'll get used to it," he promised.

Well, I had that bike for years, I commuted on it while we lived in Cambridge, Somerville, and Belmont. Every single time I got on that bike my first thought was: "I hate the color of this bike."

So just now I remembered a royal blue jumper I had when I was eight or nine years old. It was brand new for my birthday, and I was wearing it that birthday morning. My favorite aunt had promised to take me, just me, to New York City for the day. I was so excited and sat on my bed, waiting, waiting...

... but the night before something bad had happened. I hated fish sticks and my mother served them often. That night, I had rebelliously put my fish sticks in the garbage. I wasn't a crafty kid so I didn't bury them, I just laid them on top of everything, so when my mom looked in the garbage, there they were, lying on top.

"Did you throw your fish sticks away?" she asked, and I said no, and I kept saying no, stubbornly. I was a poor liar, and an infrequent liar, but once I dug my heels in there was no turning back.

My aunt - my mother's twin - had gotten into the act; she said "If you don't tell the truth, I won't take you to New York tomorrow." What a horrible threat! But it was too late, I couldn't yield.

Sitting on my bed next morning, I thought she would forget, or would relent. But when she appeared, she was as unyielding as I had been the night before. Because I'd lied, I would not get to go to Manhattan. I cried for most of my birthday.

I still feel sad about not going to NYC that day. I'll never get that day back, and now, my favorite aunt is long dead and gone.

What do you think? Can a person get to hate a color just because it's associated with a terrible memory?

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5 Comments:

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous CGHill said...

I think so, if only because the opposite seems to be true as well: you can like something because it's in a color that reminds you of something good.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jean said...

What elections returns were you watching in 2006? The Democrats took the US House and Senate and many governorships. Now they are trying to stop this insane war. Republicans are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Things are still pretty lousy but at least it isn't as bad as it was.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Woops, Jean, you caught me - I guess it was 2002. Time goes by so fast when you're not listening to the news ... Rip Van Winkle R us? ...

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Unfortunately, when something bad happens, I don't hold a grudge against the color. I usually don't even remember the color. I hold a grudge against the person instead. :(

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Alma said...

I have this problem with food. When I was 6 or 7, my dad tried to get me to eat menudo (tripe soup). I refused and when he came after me with a belt (he was a different person back then), I locked myself in the bathroom.

For some reason, there was also a hook lock on the outside of the bathroom door (probably to keep it from opening all the time-- it was that kind of apartment). He engaged that hook and therefore locked me into the bathroom. It took me hours to realize that we lived on the ground floor and could easily open the window to get out of my impromptu prison.

To this day, I have never as much as tasted menudo -- the mere thought makes me gag -- though the rest of my family loves it.

 

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