The Implications of Crayola Color Misalignments.

January 15, 2009
By Caitlin Fallahay, Oak Park, IL

Loo loo loo, Katydid cooed, trying to match the invisible man's noises. Loo loo loo, dancin' in
da dark, loo loo. Her daddy was singing too but he wasn't the invisible man, the invisible man
sang better. Katydid looked and looked for the invisible man but it was all only her and Daddy and
the boxes that the noises came from. Well that made sense 'cause when something's invisible you
can't see it, right Daddy? she asked, pulling at his jeans. But he wasn't paying attention, he
was singing along with the invisible man and the boxes where the noises came from in the room with
the walls she didn't know the color of. They looked like peach from the Crayola box but when she
colored on the walls the color was different. That made her mad, she wanted the old walls back, they
were robin's egg blue, the Crayola box said so. The colors matched just like they should, they did
when the walls were robin's egg blue not this not-peach color. Daddy came over and picked her up
and twirled her around like she did when she ate spaghetti and sang with the invisible man. And
every color blended together and they were all wrong like his breath was wrong. It smelled like the
not-brown bottles she saw in the big dirty yellow recycle bin, too sticky-sweet and bittersweet but
it wasn't the Crayola bittersweet because tastes don't have colors. All the Crayola colors
tasted the same which confused Katydid because what Mommy and Daddy called breakfast and dinner
didn't really match up to the Crayolas. And when she asked Daddy after he put her down he just
laughed and laughed and asked if she ate the Crayolas and she said yes, yes she did and he just
laughed again. Her hands hurt and she didn't know why until she saw they had gone not-white and
were in fists. Mommy told her never to make fists but she didn't care because Mommy wasn't
there. Mommy would have yelled at her for it but Daddy didn't notice and drank out of the
not-brown bottle. Her eyes felt hot and her head hurt from the inside while her hands hurt from the
outside. They hurt a lot, she thought, but Daddy wasn't feeling it, not even if she hit him like
she did a few days ago. He just put her in her crib until she stopped having a temper tantrum he
said. He was drinking from the bottle then like he was now and changing the invisible man to a
woman with a weird voice, not like Mommy's. Mommy's voice was low and didn't change much and
it was good to fall asleep to when she sang lullabies, but this strange woman's voice wasn't
like that at all. It sounded like she was pinching her nose while she was trying to sing or like she
had a cold. She shouldn't be singing like that, it was bad for your throat, bad bad bad Katydid
thought and she'd ask Daddy but he wasn't going to listen to her, he never did, he just listened
to the invisible man and the woman with the weird voice. Katydid didn't like the woman's voice,
and it hurt her ears because it was too loud. Why did Daddy play that music anyway? Maybe it was to
chase all the bad things out like Mommy said. Whenever he swore or drank from the not-brown bottle
Mommy said he had bad things in him but that didn't mean she didn't love him. And Katydid asked
if Mommy meant demons like the people in the church said. Mommy said Yes, yes in a way there's
demons, but they aren't really demons. That confused Katydid so she asked if Mommy loved her and
Mommy said Of course I do Sweetheart but not in the same way I love Daddy. And that bothered
Katydid because she wanted to be loved like everybody else because everybody else was loved just the
same, 'cause if they weren't loved just the same then that's bullying because it's
excluding. And Mommies didn't bully people did they? Not their Katydids, they shouldn't,
'cause every mommy had a Katydid, didn't they? she asked Mommy. Of course they do, said Mommy.
But not everyone has my Katydid. Some mommies have Annadids, or Taylordids, or Staceydids. But Mommy
has a Katydid. Well, Mommy, said Katydid, I'm glad you have a Katydid. 'Cause then I wouldn't
exist. That's right. But Katydid really did wish that Mommy loved her just the same as Daddy, even
though Katydid was mad at Daddy, mad mad mad. All he ever did was drink from the not-brown bottle
and laugh, laugh and laugh and it was the meanest sound she ever heard, like the bright angry red
she used whenever she colored him in a picture. But his real shirt was not-red.

The author's comments:
This piece was written towards the middle of my English Literature's unit in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. As it opens with the main character as a toddler, my teacher asked us to write a page of what would be our beginning to our own "Portrait," as the book is a semi-autobiographical work. We were instructed to draw from past memories, but to distort things so that it wasn't entirely true, and to write from the perspective of a young child. I found it an interesting exercise in writing, especially as I hadn't really thought of it before.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. =]

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