Yellow Times

by Mileva Anastasiadou


It’s all yellow when life fades out. The color of falls and shipwrecks.

My old habit kicks in, as we walk down the street, a subtle autumn breeze caressing my face. His face becomes blurry, until I only see a life vest ahead of me, a potential savior, although I’ve only known him for a few minutes. A new song begins and all I want is to fast forward to the best part. I hate beginnings.

“Really? You were in a band?” he asks.

It only comes natural to castaways; life vests are all they see. Like the lame see crutches. And the lonely see soulmates.

“I mean, you don’t look like the kind of girl who’d be in a band.” He bows his head apologetically, as if he realizes he said something he shouldn’t have said.

We weren’t the typical band. We spent most of our days around the table, writing lyrics and music. We were the Alchemists, transforming pain into melodies. Our band was the shelter. The shield that protected us from the outside world.

It’s all yellow before the end. When summer ends, before winter comes. That awkward season when it’s too late for beaches, yet too early for Christmas lights.

“Don’t take me wrong,” he says. “You look like the kind of person who doesn’t leave the house much.”

Indeed, we spent most of our days at the house. The house was the spaceship that carried us in the universe. We often dreamed of touring, yet we never did it. In fact, the house was more than enough. We traveled in the spaceship we called home, at the speed of the earth traveling around the sun.

“I have to run,” he says. I stand frozen, staring at him. As if he suddenly pushed the pause button, while all I wanted was to rush forward into the future, into my new spaceship, close the door behind and stay there safe, forever. I’m stuck now into my yellow submarine, waving goodbye to yet another chance to rise above and fly.

I watch him walk away, my spaceship leaving without me. He hasn’t even asked for my name. He didn’t just pause the song. He moved forward to the next one.

I can’t stand endings either.

It’s all yellow before the song ends. Before yellow breaks down to red and green Christmas ornaments. Before colors of celebration come to replace it. Yellow is the color of transition and expectation.

I was in a band once, yet all I wanted was to play only the best part of the song, avoiding the beginning, always oblivious to the end.

A true alchemist at heart; I only saw gold.

Because bright yellow looks like gold sometimes to those who have the power to transform it. Or the will to wait.

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