today’s colour


I haven’t posted any Today’s Colour for a while. Just haven’t been seeing things that way recently, but the other day, walking downtown for some breakfast, I notice freshly painted yellow lines in a parking lot. And in between those lines, a bright yellow car.

I take a picture but without a chip as it turns out. And so there’s no proof of anything.

Not of the lines or the car or the bright yellow hydrant nearby. Not even the mysterious metal pole next to it, in exactly the same shade.

Also no picture of the large yellow plastic bin on the porch of what used to be the town’s main library—a lovely Carnegie one—which is now home to a legal firm. Maybe the box is where you deposit gratuities. Or bribes. Or suggestions, delicately, or not so delicately, phrased.

There is no picture of the bag of salt resting in the doorway of a convenience store.

Today’s colour comes, instead, with a story. The Story of Yellow. Which begins in my bedroom when I was about seven or eight years old. Maybe I was four or five. Young enough anyway not to know what my favourite colour was when my dad suddenly appeared at my door hollering What’s your favourite colour??

Um….. um….

Welll???  (veins beginning to pop in his neck)

Yellow? (I have no idea why I said yellow.)

Turns out he was on his way to Canadian Tire.

The next thing I remember is my entire bedroom—four walls AND the ceiling—painted lemon yellow.

After that I was given yellow sweaters as gifts. A yellow sippy cup (so I guess I was younger than eight; we can only hope…), yellow toothbrush, hairbrush, bath towel, bathing suit. My first pair of jeans were yellow.

I grew up hating that colour. When I left home I turned my back on it, refused to be the yellow piece in a board game.

Then one day I came home to visit my mum and dad and my room had been wallpapered with pink and red roses. The ceiling was white. It was hideous and I loved it.

On a weekend in nineteen ninety something I painted the kitchen of my house yellow. The irony of this didn’t even register. The yellow tablecloth my mother had given me years ago, which I’d never used, I suddenly loved. I bought yellow tea towels, yellow bowls. I painted all the bedrooms various shades of pale pale jaune.

I have no idea what changed. I only know that it no longer bothers me to be the yellow piece in a board game.

Though if I had the choice, I’d probably pick orange.


Pick a colour, any colour…