The Color Wheel

A red circle, a blue circle, a yellow circle, spun round and round on the ends of three points coming out of a thin spinning pole, the colours overlapping furiously to create new colours. Colours appeared spontaneously like magic and disappeared just as quickly. I never knew exactly what the names of all the colors were and how each one was born. I always thought just maybe, each time different colors were made depending on where the light was or where I was standing. That’s the way I thought about you. I never knew the names of all the thoughts and memories that created your thoughts at any moment. Maybe you were different, maybe you were the same, feelings now coming together in different ways, but always moving faster than I could figure out. 

You are drinking your coffee very slowly and keeping one hand on the table facing me. Sunlight wandering into our kitchen from the ordinary window gives me the feeling that we’ve been sitting here a very long time. Yesterday, your brother died. I never met him and I felt sorry I didn’t. He was 14 and had taken his own life with a revolver in the front of his dad’s car while it was parked in the driveway. In his note he said it was a bad breakup from his first girlfriend. In the background the refrigerator hummed irregularly. 

I like the way sadness changes the world you live in. I like the way it burns all your old thoughts and gives you new ones. Suddenly I’m like a new person with new cells. But of course, there is always the new kind of pain that comes from the new sadness. This is frightening always because it is new and unpredictable and all at once threatening. I ask if you want to eat some pasta with carrots and you shrug. I guess you are sad, I thought. I guess you are changing now.

Suddenly I start to cry. My eyes and face are wet and you watch me and turn away now. You seem sad to me and it breaks my heart but I try not to show it. We both sit there staring at various spaces between us. We’re both realizing how hard it is to think about anything else. I thought about the colours again. I thought about them spinning and making new colours. I thought about a lot of things moving too fast for me to notice. His brother was moving too fast for any of us to notice, we didn’t notice at all. He was a surprise.

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