August 19th, 2018

She looks better in blue than in orange.

I thought about that as I sat across from the girl , and looked at her through the Plexiglas divider. Yes, Navy blue suits her well, especially since her hair is currently blonde. Orange would clash too much.

“You look good”, I told her as I spoke over the phone.

She lifted one eyebrow quizzically.

I shrugged. I said to her,

“I talked to your probation officer on the phone yesterday. She does NOT plan on sending you to prison. That is not what she wants to do.”

The young woman gave me a barely detectable smile.

“So, she is working on finding temporary housing for me?”

“Yeah. She can’t cut you loose until she finds you a place to stay.”

I looked at the young woman’s eyes. She has the deepest, brownest eyes. They are almost black. She says that my eyes are hazel. Usually, mine are just bloodshot.

The jail is remarkably drab. The county must only buy institutional, soul-killing types of paint. The walls are all a bureaucratic beige. Even when the walls are clean, they look dirty.

Karin drove us home from the jail. She took Highway 32. It runs close to Lake Michigan. I could see the lake at time, pale blue near the shore, and then gradually darkening as as I looked further away.

Karin pointed out different plants and flowers as we drove along. She thinks of plants mostly in terms of how they might be used to dye fiber. She is obsessed with that. Right now, the Queen Anne’s lace and the chicory are blooming along the roadside. The chicory has small blue flowers. Karin is very curious to find out what those flowers would do.

Once we got home, Karin decided to play the alchemist. She went out to the back patio where she has her pots and jars, and her propane cooker. She put a kilogram of choke cherries into a pot of of water, along with a skein of yarn. The choke cherries grow in our backyard. She was hoping that they would turn the yarn a deep red. After several minutes of simmering of the propane fire, nothing happened.

Karin said, “Maybe I should have put the berries into the blender first!”

Later, she brought out a bottle from the basement.

“I am going to add some water softener. The last time I used choke cherries, I put them into distilled water. Maybe that makes a difference.”

I guess that it did. She called out to me that the water was starting to get a pink tinge.

Karin was also checking out some blood root that she had been fermenting for the past few days. It hadn’t turned red, but it had turned the water a deep orange. She wanted to see what the blood root would do to the wool. She was hoping for a ruddier tint.

Karin pointed some plants growing amidst the willow bushes. She asked,

“What do you think those leaves are? They are such a dark, shiny green. I bet they would make a cool green color!”

I don’t doubt that.

The goldenrod will be blooming soon. Karin is excited about that. Goldenrod always produces a spectacular bright yellow.

I went outside with Shocky, and I saw that Karin had hung up some skeins of yarn on the clothes line to dry. There were several loops that had an intense rust color, with a hint of orange.

I told her, “I like those.”

She smiled, “Yeah, I like how the color is not consistent all the way through. It’s not so boring that way.”

It was nearly evening. The moon was already high. It looked cold and white. Soon, the shadows would lengthen. The light would dim.

The colors would fade.





2 thoughts on “Colors”

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