Last spring I took a lit seminar where we had to write mockups of the books we read. One of the assigned books was Bluets by Maggie Nelson. If you haven’t read her book I highly recommend it. It’s a quick, poignant read, perhaps I’ll do a review of it when I get the chance to read it again. But until then here is the mockup I submitted for the book:
1) I have no color with which I am in love. When asked about my favorite color I used to say black solely for the reactions and the quip back that it was not a real color. Once past the childish refuting of certain things due to their inherent girliness and having claimed my feminism I claim pink. But now there is a color I want to love, that I want to possess and by which be possessed. A color that has woven its way insidiously into my life. It is bleeding into my clothes, events, trains, and even my body. It is everywhere.
2) When he asked me what color I wanted my phone to be – blue, white or red (how very patriotic) I immediately choose red. Blue is too sad [the color of his wet eyes], white too bland [and the phone that he owned], and red was what I wanted to be [despite his red, but actually orange, but no really blond hair]. I need to get my red back, I told him. My passion, my attitude, the anger. The Fuck You. I wanted it.
3) Red is a stubborn color. It is stiff and unyielding. It requires a perfect atmosphere to flourish and reveal itself. Without the proper background it becomes dull. Jealous, it refuses to share that one shade of brilliant, crimson red easily – you have to work for it.
4) And work for it I have. I don’t call him back, I single-mindedly pursue myself and my health and my happiness. I show up at the bar and I smile and drink and drink. I put on makeup and wear clothes that I feel like slowly stripping out of in front of the mirror. After a month I finally stop eating nutella and peanut butter by the spoonful and I start looking for a job.
5) My job before this one was red. I was red. Flushed from the heat, my skin mottling with red patches. Angry burns from hot tools and thoughtless actions. A summer of red bowls, panting next to the glory hole. Both doors open, the oven is roaring as I stare at my father waiting for the barely perceptible nod to tell me what to do. Sweat streaking down my back, the red bandanna the only thing keeping it out of my eyes and my hair so wet with it I could shake it out like a dog.
6) The red overlays were the worst. Unrelenting. Staring at them, turning, turning, turning slowly. Don’t tire your wrists, spinners never get far, keep it on center. Watching the edge of that inverted cone, waiting for it soften and start to come alive. It’s a fine line between hot enough and liquid glass drooling into the bottom of the glory hole. It’s red, but when it’s hot it’s brown and when it’s really hot it’s glowing orange and then I’m holding it up over my head, turning and turning waiting for the diamond shears to grab the punty. He grabs it and the overlay settles on the clear bubble. He cuts it and I step away. The color set up always takes the longest.
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3 Comments Add yours
Great writing and emotion. I really felt this.
Thanks! I’m glad that you were able to connect with the piece and I appreciate your comment!