All Systems Go – Cruise control

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.

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Fact is often stranger than fiction


I drive within the 25 mph speed limit.

I watch a willowy woman glide along the sidewalk with yards of flowing hair. Her Afghan hounds sweep along at her side. I chuckle because I love clichés especially ones you can see.

“Ooo looky!” he cries. I look but I do not see.
“What is it lovey?”
“It is dah ball on dah top of dah flag!” I see no flag, no pole and no ball. “Lovely,” I acknowledge because this is to be encouraged.
“Oh mum! Look at that!” I immediately see the guy with the sandwich board jumping up and down on the edge of the sidewalk.
“Er…..look,” he sputters. I look. I have no clue. “It…it… nevermind, ya missed it anyways.” I always miss his. I never have any idea what his might be. It's the delay, or rather the speech delay. It catches us both out every time. His radar is tuned to a different map.

“Ooo look mum!” I follow her gaze to the trail of the plane in the sky, the pale blue sky and the squirrely white tail.
“Er…..look!” I look. Nothing? “Er….random.” 'Random' roughly translates to 'whatever,' which roughly translates to defeat, the white flag of surrender in a game that he can never win. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. Happy that he can let it go, avoid the meltdown of frustration. Sad because no matter how hard he tries, and he tries very hard, his word retrieval system is slower than he would wish.
“Looky, looky, looky!” cooes his little brother as a large truck pulls up beside us.
“Pirelli, your favourite what a treat.” He grins from ear to ear, cocks his head to one side so that he may more thoroughly enjoy the lettering in the shiny hub cap.
“Um…..look!” I look. I have no clue. This is the same street that we drive along every day. There is nothing remarkable to remark upon, apart from the sandwich guy and the lady with the Afghans and the plane that we have already made remarks upon, all duly noted.

“What can you see dear?”
“Um….never mind you missed it.” We are stationary at the lights. I keep looking to see if something might be moving away, whether I still might catch it. He tries again. “Er look.” I look. I look for clues. I see nothing that he might find of note.
“Er… is……four people…….they are be………two …emerald..camels.” We are nowhere near a zoo. The circus has not come to town. My head flips to right and left to see if any of those words match anything I can see with my own eyes, or if any of the words are approximately near to something that vaguely resembles something that I can see with my own eyes. I know it is something emerald because he can never remember the word green.

“Good grief!”

I see four people walking along in a line, a veritable chain gang without links. They shuffle slowly along a backdrop of tall cypress trees. They flit in and out of focus like zebra passing through brush. Each pair of people has a huge dark green blanket covering the couple. What a gem!

Did you catch the new post [translate that!] on “alien?”

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