For a while I forgot how to see color.
It was when I was running early in the morning, when the trees and sky and Tarmac blurred like a zoetrope of motion. I couldn’t find the right niche through which to watch the action I convinced myself I could see—him running. In this animation, unlike my own running, he performed a long-limbed dance of beauty, while my feet stumbled and caught on the pavement.
They told me running was what caused the tears in the delicate muscles of my feet.
Over the weeks it took for the pain to heal, I had to stop moving. This injury felt like another ruse to control and push me into an existence—one I did not want or need. One that would take away my freedom and slight thread of identity. I felt that I was already colorblind, and I might as well just slip into the river of suits and Chinese-made faux leather, faux fur, faux designer, faux everything that I waded through every day.
Yet in the depths of these murky waters, I still couldn’t forget that invaluable lesson from so long ago – that hot dog rolls should never be left out in the rain.
When I was on the subway, commuting to wherever my life went next, I refused to bring my coffee mug with me. This can of fetid air that shot through the city was the shared place where breathing and rasping and coughing and holding swirled together, and I found it vile that I could carry coffee, something I was expected to swallow, while surrounded by these multiple toxins. So I bought my morning beverage off the train these days, paid too much, and stumbled out of my commute, half-awake but not dreaming. I knew if I were to dream again, I would be with him, still, and not here, isolated and immersed in black and white. Engulfed by all the rancid things.
Yet that day, I stopped and breathed because there was no more running to do, and then he was there, an animation waiting for me, reminding me of when I left those hotdog rolls out in the rain. It was after the sole summer barbecue of the season. A different he, a newer he, not like the one who ran beautifully, but too fast, was laughing, with that bag, those white rolls which were never used, but also never went stale, because of bleached white flour and preservatives. The bag was adorned with red lettering, bold yet like a lipsticked kiss against the white of the rolls. It had no expiration date.
I was tired of forgetting and weary from moving and being moved, and I couldn’t run anymore. So I just sat and closed my eyes, imagining the bright neon glow from buildings above was really the warm late summer sunshine from years ago.
I felt the vibrant colors from that day, remembered how it was only after he took my hand, and kissed me gently, so quietly and nearly imperceptibly that, I became aware the trees around us had fireworked into autumnal shades, with leaves falling like feathers in a firey post-apocalyptic shower.
The man with the rolls gave the world’s colors back to me.
Alone, weary and not running, as I sat mentally rubbing the delicate pain in my toes, he returned. I almost expected him to be carrying another bag of rolls. That was silly, I thought to myself, as I put my coffee cup down, turned my face in his direction. Today, the rain had started to fall, chilly and succulent, and the air had held the promise of winter. I smelled of the onset of snow, caught the delicate blue seasonal tinge to the air from the sparse trees, the artificially placed grass and knew this feeling wouldn’t expire, either.
Miriam Lamey is an Astoria, New York-based writer and yoga teacher trainee under the 200 Hour program at Sacred Sounds Yoga to be completed in February, 2015. She strives to be open and attentive to the everyday, using life’s beauty and tragedy as inspiration for her writing and yoga practice. She’s an avid Ashtanga practitioner, also partial to a great new album, excellent bottle of wine, a good Manhattan, and attentively-cooked meal. Follow her on Twitter @mirseven and on Instagram. Read more on her blog at www.miriamlamey.com.