We’ve always had problems with green, for as long as I can remember. Such a simple word that can be described in so many or few; a secondary colour, mix blue and yellow, use different proportions of each primary colour to produce different shades. But still those five letters elude him.
It’s a little bit like when I try to remember something myself, some every day kind of a thing, like a film star’s name. I can see the boyish face, now morphed into middle age, it’s an easy name, I can see the roles he’s played but the name, that ever so average name is buried under pile of mis-filed ‘to do’ lists and a heap of other detritus. An irritating nebulous nameIt’s on the tip of my tongue but hides behind a stack of unread book spines. It is not until later, at night when the chains fall off my brain and suddenly up it pops as I sit bolt upright, Tom Cruise! But there’s no-one to listen, no-one to pat me on the back, tap me on the cranium and say, ‘there you go, back to sleep now.’
Now that he’s older he can sometimes retrieve it, green, on command, but more often than not, he can’t, so we use alternatives. Emerald is always first on the list, a starter, a favourite, and from that point on the colour wheel we can go left or right, up or down, carefully narrowing down the choices because we must be accurate because accuracy is very important and those subtle shades are calibrated with precision, hues enhanced, narrowly tailored.
“That’s too dark.”
“What about that one?”
“What about this one?”
“I think that it. How you say it?”
“Um…I’m not sure of the pronunciation….er…. Chrysoberyl……I think?”
“Got it!” he hares off, shouting to the other players, “hey guys! It’s called Chrysoberyl.”
Well that slips off the tongue like extract of malt but it’s nice to know that he’s not red/green blind, like my dad.