The super moon makes its appearance above the tree tops, giving the illusion of magnitude and proximity, making it feel close enough to actually touch. The world around us is defined by the hazy pink sunset and the authoritative glow from the moon. We’re on a drive back home, snaking through the busy highways around Boston, deep in conversation.
“…it’s like trying to describe a color, if you think about it,” my husband concludes, and I agree.
After a few moments of silence, my eyes drooping with delirious exhaustion, the tunnel lights of the O’Neill painting the world orange and yellow, my husband adds:
“Do you feel like playing a game?”
“Sure,” I say. “What’s the game.”
“Let’s try actually describing colors.”
I’m in. These little brain teasers — these chances to play around with words and vocabulary and syntax — are what I live for. It’s a chance to go abstract and get away from the context of the world.
“Pick a color, and I’ll try to describe it,” he says.
“Okay, then. Red.”
“Red is intensity. Red is passion,” he says. “Red is that first moment after realizing you’ve been betrayed.”
He continues on, discussing red in experiences and sensations. There are no similes. Nothing is discussed in relation to things that can be painted that color. It’s poetry and an observation on the human condition.
“I like that,” I say after he finishes.
“Let me give you an easy one: Blue.”
Now it’s my turn to pause.
“Blue is cold,” I reply. “Blue is chilled. Blue is loneliness and solitude — but not malicious or aggressive loneliness. Simply the natural disconnect and quiet that is inherent in human existence. Blue is the calmness that comes from being alone.”
The rest of the car ride is spent describing colors based on how they make us feel, or what story they convey. Lavender is the soothing feeling after the storm has past. Mint green is coy, and would rather be speculated on as a secret than ever be revealed for what it really is, lest it be seen as average. Gray is the monotonous drudgery, the minimal dirty work it takes to survive.
Yellow is the warmth that is never warm enough. Purple is our darkest desires wrapped in velvet and indulged upon. Chartreuse is nausea and malicious noise. Pink is false innocence; pink is everything red is, but packaged in a cute and palatable box. Maroon is what it feels like to exact revenge and have it be as satisfying as you hoped it would be.
My inner ear spins as if I’ve had too much to drink. I’m drunk on my exhaustion and wariness. I’m drunk on the esoteric conversation. I’m drunk on the Boston skyline and the hypnotic rocking of the car. I’m drunk on the poetry of it all. Even in the dark, with nothing but highway lamps and headlights to illuminate, everything is prismatic.
This oddly perfect little moment. Floating down the highway, imagining colors and just letting the words come out. It’s a moment I gladly dive into, a moment that makes me wish I’d never have to come up for air. I want to stay in these moments, the ones that exist outside of context, that exist without overthinking or analyzing, that echo nothing but the present moment. I’ve gone abstract and I have no interest in going concrete again.
Green is freedom. Green is stepping outside to a breath of fresh air after being stuck indoors. Green is the feeling of being unshackled.
It’s a moment I want to take with me as the drive home eventually ends, as we get into our driveway, as we leave the car and abandon our colors and eventually call it a night. By now, the moon is high, away from any buildings or treetops that can make it look gargantuan. And we leave our colors — the ones with newfound stories and nuanced personas — for the light of the full moon, left behind in the abstract and the poetic, a time outside of context.