Gray – A creative assignment

“Gray?”

“Yes, gray”

“That’s no color!”

Maybe that’s me — lifeless, ordinary, or life less ordinary. The spaces and commas make all the difference they say. Of course they’re right. Ask me; I’ve gone through the agony of living without knowing where to put them. It hurts, yes it hurts real bad, for they assume you know it.

“You’re kidding me? You gotta know something like that!”

What do you do when you don’t? What do you do when all you can say about yourself with certainty is a color that’s no color, really. Does your color define you? I mean green is the color of envy right? Or of peace? You see the problem? In the end we just see any color the way we want to see it.

Anonymity — that’s what gray is to me. It always dissolves into background. But right as when it’s doing that, it makes sure it takes the luster of the other colors competing with it. There will be no winners left — for winning (and losing too, in its own way) is too colorful. Take the shine off, and the competition turns into a charade. Who wants a colorless victory? If I can’t win, I’ll spray the canvas with so much gray that you won’t be distinguished. When everyone is anonymous, it’s not that bad, is it?

When I think about my childhood, I’m reminded of Jerry Seinfeld’s “I choose not to run” (Seinfeld’s school buddy challenges him for a re-race after decades, for Seinfeld had won the race by running even before the word go). Well not quite, but my life is a series of “I chose not to compete”, for competition brings with itself the promise of victory and a dread of defeat. The gray in me wouldn’t let me have anything to do with either. The best thing to do was to pretend there was no competition, or better to question the very notion of competition. When you deny colors, you’re left with a canvas full of gray, or just black and white — the two extreme shades of gray. There, that’s my story. That’s my color.

What, it’s colorless you say? Didn’t I tell you?

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