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By Anita Kestin

This is probably nearing an end I think, as I see the shorter one start to fidget a bit in her office chair. The taller one stares at the paper where she has been writing notes in very tiny letters.

“What does the color blue mean to you?” she says.

I am impressed. A question I can sink my teeth into.

“Blue,” I say and then pause.

In my mind I see the world as a blue marble spinning in space and I look down at my finger at the sparkly blue ring that I love and that I had put on today because the ring inspires confidence.

“Blue, to me,” I say “it’s the waters of the Aegean seen from a plane that is just about to land at the Athens airport.

“It’s swimming pools in summer with deck chairs and a snack bar selling drumstick ice cream cones and hot dogs with French fries.

“Blue is the Joni Mitchell album that I played endlessly when it first came out I can see where Barangrill takes place in my mind’s eye. And Carey sung by the girl who feels the wind coming in from Africa, loves the Mermaid Café but still longs for the French perfume and her bed at home.  The Mermaid Café, where the walls are periwinkle blue and white.

“Blue is blueberry pie in the garden.

 “It’s the blues song by Johnny Lee Hooker.

“Blue is the perfect robin’s egg blue of the sky outside this very window.

“Look!” I gesture to the window behind them. No one turns around to see the sky, but I am on a roll.

“It’s the Bahamian blue color I used to paint the bench on the front porch.

“It’s soft blue jeans in the perfect size.

“It’s teal and turquoise deep dark navy that is nearly black.

“It’s a blue jay on a branch that you watch while you are holding perfectly still.

“That is blue to me,” I say.  “That is what blue means to me.”

The shorter one fidgets. The taller one says, “blue is the color of this company’s logo,” as she points to the wall where the logo — I have to admit — is prominently displayed.

“We wear blue every Thursday,” says the shorter one with the blue badge bearing the name Margo as she bobs her head energetically.

The taller one nods and rises from her seat as she opens the door to the conference room to usher me out. “We have many other candidates to interview,” she says shaking my hand. “I don’t know when we will make a decision.”

The secretary jumps up and guides me down a nondescript blue corridor to the exit. Outside the sky is a grayish blue but, in the distance, a fiery sunset is forming.

My car tail lights flash when I press the key.

I stop at the end of the parking lot and take a long last look in the rearview mirror at the building with the blue logo and the cars and the short squat trees outside the front door. I am looking for some distinguishing characteristic to commit to memory as I know I will never see this view again.

Anita Kestin, MD, MPH, has worked in academics, nursing homes, hospices, and locked wards of a psychiatric facility. She is a daughter (of immigrants fleeing the Holocaust), wife, mother, grandmother, progressive activist. She has been writing for years but has just started submitting and publishing her work in her sixties.



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