Kelvin is also a pudgy baby brother with a buzz cut and bright parrot-green Hawaiian shirt. But no shirt could match the green of his eyes, not in those days anyway.
The year Kelvin wore that green Hawaiian shirt was a very green year with plenty of yellow and orange days and only a few days that were absent of color, black hole days. It doesn’t take many days like that to drain the green from a little boy’s eyes. But not yet!!
Kelvin, remember when you and I played in the mud puddle on the corner of North Main and Juniper? In those days all the roads were dirt except for North Main and each had its puddle after a rain.
No not a puddle.
When the water rushed up to the thigh it was scary because in order to be that high it had to be running pretty fast. So we waited till it stopped running fast but still offered a place to swim.
Not really, we didn’t swim exactly. Man, I am full of lies! We didn’t swim, but we sat down in it and let it rise up to our necks.
Remember how you drank it on a dare and said it tasted like chocolate milk? Your eyes were green green green that day and they laughed at me as a dare-back to you.
I don’t think I was as brave as you because to this day I don’t know what ditch-water chocolate tastes like.
Kelvin: a unit to determine the intensity of color.
We were older when I had a 45 record of Color my World, by Chicago, I played it over and over, mesmerized. You had heard enough. You Frisbee’d it onto the roof, where anything you could throw up there gave its life to the New Mexican sun. The color of those days was red and orange/yellow. There were Indian Blankets everywhere, my favorite wildflower, and sandstorms during which red dirt walls could be seen moving into town, giving everyone enough time to take cover if they were smart enough to do so. There were industrious red and black ants and they were my friends. When I think about that time period it reminds me of Mayan artwork. For some reason, it seems to have ended the day the record died on the roof.
I don’t remember catching you. I hope I didn’t.
You chased those boys that had ganged up on me at the city park that late night. Why were we there? How crazy to be in such a dangerous place in the middle of the night.
Mom took us there and let me out; I was going to run straight through to the other side but got trapped by a gang of paint sniffers. I was surrounded. They had knives. You came to my rescue. You were younger than anyone there. How did you know to come for me? I don’t remember screaming or calling for help. I was too scared.
But you were Kelvin: you were able to measure the intensity of color even the color of danger in the dark with pinpoints of a dirty-yellow streetlight.
Of course, you would be placed in a house where artists did the decorating; you were Kelvin: you measured the intensity of color in the world.
What I could have done to scare them I cannot say. I don’t have a memory of it. I just know that they never ever bothered you again.