I watched the single thread of purple tracing through our charcoal-colored dream. It shone through over and over again. We stood in a crowd of people we sometimes stopped to call our friends and refused to speak to each other for fear of making something obvious.
I watched you all the while.
The violet in my little tiny sweater that I threw on over a black summer dress matched the bold strokes of purple on the shirt beneath your dark grey sweater. The tones reached out across the room and wove us both together. My big-heeled purple shoes lit up the black and purple bracelet made of worn ropes you’ve been wearing for years. Lit it up to the point where your hands left tracks in the air.
This was not a planned affair through pigments. I wore my dress to echo the brightness of the new spring day. I wore it because it was my only chance to see you when I wouldn’t be covered in plaster, and I wanted you to think I was pretty. Your choice of colors was purely your own, and I never got the chance to ask you why.
You grasped your sketchbook close to your chest and let your eyes dart about the room as if you were under attack. You stood there in those violet highlights, always lingering at the back of the crowd as if you would not be sucked in. You kept one glance out of every two on the door, and made for it when no one was looking.
I watched you through a purple haze. I saw you on the periphery as you set out to leave, moving when no one was looking but me. I felt the crush of your exit, because it never gave me the chance to say all that I’d wanted to say. Or to smile. I was even too late to smile at you...
I had wanted to come up to you and ask you why you looked so desperate, and what there was that you needed to escape to. Or if you were running from something in the room.
I waited too long.
I had wanted to come up to you: “You’ve cut your hair, my friend. It stands out on your face like a war scar and makes your bony cheeks too jagged and your eyes dull with pain.” Could I have hoped to make myself forget this love for a haircut?
I had wanted to retreat to the back of the room where you lurked in your awkward silence and pull you away where you wanted to go and make love to your mouth in random acts of purple. I had wanted to throw off this cast of sickly color to make you love me in the spotlights, and remember.
I waited too long. And now I will wait much longer...
I watched the single thread of purple tracing through our charcoal-colored dream and found the spots it focused on. I let them settle down into my brain. This was no dream. I found your hands; I found my shoulders. I wove them all until the air that was surrounding us lit up in purple flame.
And you retreated. You left as if you didn’t know this thickness of the air and the heat of a fire made up of a thread, traced back, with no beginning, to the place where color began against the monochrome sky of empty eyes and my withering heart. You left. You left and I left with you, standing motionless in purple shoes amidst people I occasionally stopped to call my friends.
I left before I could notice the man in the purple bandana beside me, and the violet chain around this woman’s lily neck, filling the room as if you had never been there, with the color of all of my dreams.