Back when I was much younger, brown wasn’t a very positive color
. The first image that would come to mind was that of fester
, or maybe the swamp
that would build up around our block during the tropical season
. When my family moved to the beach
, brown disappeared from our lives. Our apartment
was white, and looked out over red rooftops, blue water, blue skies, red sunset
s, and lots of green garnish
ing the streets in between. The brown we did have was stately: a wooden armoire
, or leather shoes.
Not too long after that, I moved into Murphree Hall, the brownest place in all of Gainesville. Brown floors greeted you when you came in. The walls, the curtains, the furniture... all brown. I frantically put up posters to try to cover up the brownness around me, and even then I would find myself staying out of my room, trying to escape the brownness as best I could.
Then, in the dog days of August, one of my old friends was getting married in Phoenix, a city I had never been to that lay halfway across the country, on the other side of miles and miles of rednecks, oil derricks, and cotton fields. As our plane descended out of the clouds, I looked out the window, and saw nothing but brown. The scorched desert earth was a pale shade of brown as far as the eye could see, broken here and there by dark brown mountains and brown tracks of silt from long-deceased rivers.
The airport was brown. The highway from the airport was marked with brown signs, and surrounded with brown tile patterns sunken into brown sand. The hotel was brown, and all the other buildings were brown. I looked around the city, and imagined that it grew from the brown sands of the desert, without the labor of brown human hands.
The wedding took place in a big sandy brown temple that looked more like one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces than a place of worship. It was surrounded by deep green grass, carefully manicured to look completely out of place within the brown surroundings. To my eyes, the grass was beautiful: I felt sorry to leave it behind.
Later that night, as the reception was going on indoors, I sat out in the back yard with a girl, and we clambered up on top of the shed to watch the sun go down. As it set into the horizon, the sky turned yellow, then red, and the brown sands of the desert followed it in turn, turning yellow, then red, until all that was left was the black of the night sky, and the stillness of the hot, dry air, and her brown hair.
I kissed her goodnight as the night turned late, letting my hands run through that brown hair once more. Then, I stepped into a brown taxi to ride down the brown freeway to the brown airport, and I gave my brown ticket to a brown agent who pointed me up a brown corridor.
As our plane climbed away and passed through the clouds once more, I looked down on the brown that stretched on and on, seemingly forever, and I wondered if I would miss it. The clouds took over, and the world became blue. Now, that brown only lives in my heart, and it is so beautiful indeed.