A Kind of Blue – Joe Galván

I can’t wait to see you again.


He texts this to me as I arise, my bleary eyes closing against the distant blue of dawn, and there, all alone, I tell him that I miss him. The blue is a pastel blue. A sad blue. A blue that is more of a paradox than an actual color, a color of oblivion. It is a kind of blue that you might find at 11 PM on a Miles Davis track, at 6 PM in someone’s pool in a rich house in LA, in a pool of jacaranda petals. In this blue, I tell him (and no one in particular) that I miss him.

This boy. Let me tell you about this boy. This boy has all of the right things about him. He croons to me a particular line from a Cole Porter song go do that voodoo that you do so well and as he is driving me home, he is telling me how much he loved the last boyfriend who was clueless enough to cheat on him. The stories are all the same. Never a victim, but he played the role like an artist. There was the one summer in Italy in his junior year of college that he told me about, while I languished in the heat of my backyard in South Texas, playing with the dog in the light that was silver: that was lavender, that faded to a deep and distant blue in the cool waters of the Gulf, in love with another man, unaware of the philosophical airs of this boy who tells me, in the dark of my room, that he can’t find happiness, even if it’s with me.

Freshly shaved and showered after the oppressive and still afternoon in the office, I wait for him in the lush green of my backyard, watching the blues cascade down over white and grey clouds that roll over the valley like silent angels watching for the approach of the gates of the night. I am living through my own version of Baudelaire’s poem about a fountain. I am the gilt angel that stands on the threshold of time. I am the fountain, I am the rose.

Last night we tried to play bridge. We tried to play because our much smarter friends like to pretend that bridge is a respectable game, a game that well-off couples play, in order to offset their competitive edge by inviting a demonstrably lesser set of opponents to fraternize with them. Our friends made silly compliments and served us fruit and cheese, and in the windows of their house we saw the same blue, filtered through a haze of tall bushes. I saw the evening star rise above them. The twilight. Our failure, rendered in filigree, every little shadow played out in the hand.


After a few minutes under the lights at the supermarket we pick out a pot roast and some red bell peppers and a parsnip and walk back to his place, as the blue light from the twilight shimmers over the hills in the west, resplendent and menacing and brilliant in their cobalt curtains, like the windows at Chartres. We pass through the beaded curtain made of white nacre to the kitchen, where the blue light is so low that it inches in over the white six-by-six windows, into the stainless steel sink. He makes dinner and I put on some João Donato and he kisses my cheek and when he does this I can feel the sting of his stubble.


On the way back home we turned a corner and took a different route home. He let me put my hand into the pocket of his blue denim jacket. This is also blue, faded like a piece of sea glass.


I will see him again tonight, when the world is blue, when the twilight fades and the world grows dim and fuzzy, yet oddly retains its warmth and familiarity. In this blue, I will find him again, smiling as he sips from a cocktail, reminding me to finish the first volume of Proust over a pulled pork supper. The sting of white wine, also tinged blue from the paper lanterns above, the blue shade of twilight on the white linen tablecloth, the blue of the world that never seems too literal, the hasty yet relaxed crawl towards the end of night.



Joe Galván (1984-) is a writer, artist, composer, and anthropologist. He grew up in deep South Texas. His work primarily deals with traditions, customs, and time. He has been publishing zines for nearly twenty years. An etiquette aficionado, admirer of Proust, and an expert in folk saints, his current project is Etiquette, a collection of zines about etiquette for millennials. 


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