I just learned some new words. Maybe you’d like to learn along with me. They are important because they are colors and if you can describe a color with just the right word, the picture you create in the mind of the reader is that much more specific and vivid. Also, I remember in the 6th grade, the popular girls in my class deciding tomorrow would be black and white day, and everyone was required to wear black and/or white in order to be considered cool, and the next day, when our teacher Monsieur Hillier showed up in colors, disappointed, the popular girl asked him why he didn’t wear noir et blanche, he responded, “Parce que je suis un homme de couleur.” (“because I am a man of color”). Since then, I’ve only looked for hommes de couleur and I daresay have been rather successful at this endeavor.
1) Smalt - Sounds like smelt, the tiny fish, but is actually a type of blue that’s produced by fusing potassium carbonate, silica, and cobalt oxide. It’s a science type of blue. It’s the blue that’s used in pottery and painting, sometimes, I think. Here’s a little smalt goat for your Wednesday.
2) Damask - From the rose from Damascus, it’s a pretty, demure gray-red. Why you might be upset with me and this definition, is that’s also a fabric with intricate designs. I like both - both the color and the fabric. Don’t be a hater. Here is a damask in the color of damask brain explodes.
3) Bittersweet -This is a type of deep melony reddish-orange, named after a berry. You think of that wistful time you did such and such with so and so, but it didn’t last — that’s the orange you’re feeling inside, or should be if you had any soul left in your twisted heart. First it’s sweet, then it’s bitter, then you paint your forlorn kitchen this color, then you regret it immediately. Here’s a bittersweet napkin to dry up those stupid little tears.
4) Jasper - This is the dark green you get when you mix too many paint or too many plasticene colors together. It’s the color of your art mistake, if you want to feel self-flaggellatory. It’s also kind of pretty, if you let it be. Wouldn’t you maybe describe your aunt this way? You should start calling your aunt, Jasper. B. calls me Jasper when I am being cheeky. It’s actually named after a stone, which confusingly, can also exist in nature in other colors, like reddish-brown. Here is a Jasper from popular culture, who is not green-black at all, unless you use your imagination. It is what google images things jasper is.
5) Periwinkle - My favorite crayola crayon in the box, perwinkle is named after a flower when I want it to be named after a type of sea barnacle. Why cannot I have my way, after so many years? Periwinkle is pretty, and is rumored to be that color that looks good on everybody, hence its prevalence imbuing bridesmaid dresses that are otherwise ugly. Periwinkle sounds like something a kid would use as codeword for a not-nice-name for a homosexual when he couldn’t get away with saying the f-word. Give it up for this bridesmaid in her ugly periwinkle dress, photo saved by seeing her ass in it thank you photographer. I like to imagine, when I see a photo like this, of the model’s innards pouring out the front, where we can’t see them.
Let’s end this silliness right here and now. Learning has been accomplished. Go forth with your newly-expanded life.