19960422 "The Happy Colors" The Dream of the Pink Zebras 04.22.1996 Binder # 15 v. #4.0095 07.1995 –
"The Happy Colors" The Dream of the Pink Zebras 04.22.1996 Binder # 15 v. #4.0095 07.1995 – 04/22/1996
"Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object". HEGEL, Introduction to Philosophy of History (1852)
"We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving". NIETZSCHE, "On Reading and Writing" _ Thus spoke Zarathustra (1883-1892)
"Always develop solutions to challenges that can withstand testing conditions that closely approximate reality". GRANDPA DAYHOFF, "The Frozen Chicken Test" (11.1994)
...of which reminds me of a story that has been in my head for years... a love story called:
"The Happy Colors"
© Kevin Dayhoff April 22, 1996
A sultry August ocean breeze drooled over them as they stood poised at the railing on the balcony of the large art-deco condominium overlooking a vast ocean beyond. Far below little people and cars scurried about putting away the remains of another day at the beach. The cries of tired children, squeals of laughter and the banter of parental instructions all jumbled together with the calls of the sea gulls and an ocean's heartbeat pumped waves that crashed upon the shore. It was music written by the Great Composer in the sky. A piece called "The Happy Colors".
The colors were to be remembered so well. The breeze ruffling her long hair ever so delicately. The sparkle of her eyes as she gazed at the deep azure expanse of the ocean below. The deep maroon of the setting sun as it echoed off her glass of red wine held so deftly in her seasoned, thoughtful fingers. A warm smile sprung from her inviting crimson lips, brightening her face which reflected the flickering yellow candle light. A lone white candle stood sentry, melting on to a black tablecloth that maintained the remains of abandoned china and dessert for two. The cream of her graceful gown mimicked the creamy black russian captured in the solid glass grasped in his deeply creased and weathered hands. His graying hair contrasted with the dark black of his finely tailored black tuxedo.
Their conversation drifted from the previous discussion of how they had met, and parted, in their childhood years. Perhaps they had even been lovers in a previous life. The years had marched by. And although they had lived separately for all these years, they had never left each other. They hadn't regretted their lives apart, but, then again, they did. Neither had known the other was to be at this function. This meeting again, for the first time, all over again; it was of serendipitous happenstance. As wave upon wave crashed and pounded upon the shore below, their eyes remained transfixed upon one another, oblivious to the party's banter, as their hearts crashed and pounded in unison in their warm chests. A grandfather clock dutifully stood sentry and watched the crowd beyond, and kept them away, as it quietly announced the time, seemingly, only to them...Midnight.
A stimulating intellectual discourse ensued. Alice B. Toklas was instrumental to whatever it was, that Gertrude Stein became. F. Scott Fitzgerald needed the catharsis of Zelda's being in order to create. Nietzsche fleshed out the paragraphs of their life but Hegel defined their meaning and Sartre gave them the punctuation. They had built their lives, their own way, and though they had had their shortcomings here and there, they were happy with the lives they had lived, albeit apart. They had made the best choices that they could make, not that they always had the criteria necessary in order to make the choices. They had made their choices in life because they had to make the choices. They had soared in hostile air. In a life of no inherent meaning, they had created a meaning. Their meaning. Now, older and wiser, the works that they had created, the thoughts they had promoted, the decisions they had made; were all the foundation of the work that laid ahead, that needed to be done.
They continued on to a poem that had marked their decisions in life, by a sage author they had long since forgotten....Does one build a fence at the top of the chasm of life or provide for an ambulance below?
At that, the handsome young waiter tentatively inquired about their needs.... They had none. Then again. Maybe one more drink before they left the party and parted company once again. To again do what they had to do. Because it is what it is, this life of their's.
"Yes, I'll have another black russian for me and a glass of red wine for the lady. Thank you".
The jazz quartet played a soft number in the background as the party in her honor grew quiet, reflecting about their chance meeting. Many smiled, some mused philosophically, others miffed jealously. Meanwhile, on the balcony, the lovers discussed their latest endeavors as they entwined in dance to the soft caresses of the music, oblivious to the quiet banter beyond.
They danced so softly together. Her hand ran longingly through his graying hair. Her long hair blowing across his eyes. The sun dipping below a wanting horizon. The sea gulls sang their good night praises of yet another great day in a great life.
The wise grandfather clock called to them that it was, indeed, time to go. They wanted this moment to never end. As the waiter appeared at the door of the balcony, as they held each others hand so tightly and gazed into each others eyes, as they whispered how much they were in lover and how glad they were that they had found each other again.
They a paused at the railing of the 17th floor and gazed into the sun's remains of the day and promised that they'd never part again... At that;
they climbed upon the railing, and jumped.
Grandpa Dayhoff 04.22.1996
"The more absurd life is, the more insupportable death is". JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, The Words (1964)
"Man's 'progress' is but a gradual discovery that his questions have no meaning". SAINT-EXUPERY, The Wisdom of the Sands (1948)
"Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning". HENRY MILLER, "Creative Death", The Wisdom of the Heart (1941)
"Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve". ERICH FROMM, Man for Himself (1947)
To be an artist is to jump...to jump from the comforts and confines...from behind the railing...then experience the free-for-all-fall of the intellectual, artistic unknown and document the meaning, your own meaning that which you and you alone, give this existence.
This piece has been in my head for years. I have not a clue as to what "the jump" is all about. Perhaps I should have left "the jump" in my head, but I had grown tired of the space it was taking up. Perhaps, "the jump" is an existential artistic exercise and can be interpreted as affirming. Anyway, I've always gotten a kick out of the incongruous, Hemingway-twist ending. I guess I'm a bit worried that many will find this piece disturbing. Well, it is what it is. I think perhaps the piece is allegorical. It's art. It's done. Now I have room for another piece.....Mr. Eaton would have liked this I'll bet....
Grandpa Dayhoff 04.22.1996
"The Happy Colors" The Dream of the Pink Zebras 04.22.1996 Binder # 15 v. #4.0095 07.1995 –
Kevin Dayhoff, a slave to the masters of the page - the little soldiers in my life – words