Sleeves

I love blue. The skies are the wrong shade of blue to everyone else but me. Gloom is probably my most preferred mode of being. But, that day, it’s as if the clouds around my mind drifted as I laid my eyes on him. Now, I am not one for leering at strangers (God, who am I lying to? I stare at things for long in the name of science) but, this felt perfectly legal. I am sure if he had noticed, I would have a restraining order put out in my name. He was one of the most beautiful things I had laid my eyes on in a while. But, it wasn’t as much of his face as it was the blue. I write a lot about the colour. I know. But, honestly, it’s not like that matters to the 48 (HOLY SHIT. THERE ARE THAT MANY OF YOU? I just found out my Dad is a subscriber by email. Shit.) of you, does it?

It’s a blue I had seen on someone else in a photograph long, long ago. It’s how I fell in love with the colour at all. Headfirst and spiralling downwards before I learn to fly. The blue curved and changed shades in the evening light, making folds around his body. With every roll of the sleeve, I imagined one page of his life turning over to the next. One roll for his best friend in school who he hasn’t called in four years. One roll for his mom who called up that afternoon to see if his cold was better. One roll for the boss who had no other business than to piss him off and the last, resigned one with a sigh for himself.

In those 15 minutes under the darkening sky and dim street lights, his shoulders never slouched under the weight of impatience or fatigue. He stood with his arms across his chest and waited. Once, he took his phone out and let his face show a little brighter with the tiny light the screen emitted on to his face. It didn’t light his eyes up though. That’s what bothered me so much. Where is the light in your eyes, stranger? Do you not know how you can do that without the lights in the room coming to your aid? Just when I thought I could look for it and ask him to lend me the little light he had, the bus arrived.

I hopped on and turned around for a last look at the blue. Everyone doesn’t like blue, you know. Blue is stable. Blue is calm. Blue is content. I have been searching for the blue long enough to know I might never find it again, which is why I turned back to look. Maybe, I will find the colours I have been searching for. I could paint a picture of him for you with it.

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