the color of hope

The perfect happiness of men on earth (if it ever comes) will not be a flat and solid thing, like the satisfaction of animals. It will be an exact and perilous balance, like that of a desperate romance. -G.K. Chesterton

I think we should paint all the roads red so we can see them better at night.
And then we could live on them, live on the red roads…
A red road would be safe, would take us through perpetual dusk without harm.  If I walked a red road I could go on for miles, never stopping, because I can always see it looming on through the crimson twilight.  Things like essays or jobs or heartbreak wouldn’t matter, we’d all just forget them as soon as we stepped onto the painted pavement.  Or perhaps the memory of such things might slowly wash away with the rain, becoming a strange dream that sounds as strange to our new ears as a red road sounds to ours now.  But life would be good, things that mattered would be laughing and perfect marimba solos and gingerbread and long hours without sleep-  It looks like London on these red roads, always hovering between rain and clear skies, dusk and morning, gloaming and darkness.  We’d read stories and tell better ones, we could dance and it would be clumsy and awkward but somehow we’d all say ‘that was beautiful’ and mean it.  We’d have forgotten about being better or feeling small.  We’d sleep on the red road too, listening to the wind, and dreaming about a day that happened somewhere between a song about pianos and dragons and cottonwood snow.  We’d never lose the people we love.  They’d be there, real, in person, not like a strange dream but utterly tangible and smiling.  We could fall and scrape our knee, laughing when the blood stains the road because they’re the same color.  We’d watch everyone else through telescopes in the distance, wondering a little but never venturing from the road, because the oddity of life through the telescope makes sense from the red road, and only from the red road.  Thunderstorms far away make lightning blink through the fog, night after night, and we’d all lie awake on our backs watching and blinking too.  We’d write long letters and toss them away in the wind, because the person it was meant for is standing right next to us, smiling back at us. 

 

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