He said, “Wear blue. It’ll make it better.”
I knew he was laughing at me, but I actually considered it. I thought about it for a long time, but I did not wear blue to the party. I wore an ugly colour that was not blue or green all the way, but sitting somewhere squeamishly in the middle. I wore it, and maybe it was the sickly colour that made me lose my appetite because I did not eat anything. I think it made me lose my voice too because I hardly said a word to anybody all night. I just watched people move through each other. I watched their heads lean in close to hear or speak over the music. I watched all parts of their bodies move into each other except for their eyes. Nobody’s eyes met all evening. Mine did not dare meet anyone’s either. I watched a boy from the corner of my eye. He bit the edges of his fingernails sitting along the flat tips of his red fingers leading into red hands. Bright red like he had committed a crime. His red hands against the red of his plastic cup seemed almost like a lie because he spoke cool like a sailor, like the waves a sailor watches crashing into his ship, crashing into him. Which do you think was the lie? The red hands a red herring or the words a blue illusion? I could have known if I had looked into his eyes.
“I did not wear blue,” I told him later, but I appreciated the advice because he gave it without expecting me to iron my blue dress.