Writing: Your personality can be as colourful as your canvas

I do writing exercises with my writing circle – sometimes an exercise we found on the internet, or sometimes something we made up ourselves.

This week we were given random phrases that we had to combine with a scenario. My phrase was ‘Your personality can be as colourful as your canvas’ and my scenario was ‘Write about going broke.’ We had 15 minutes to write. 

I’ve made only minor, mainly technical, edits to the below since jotting it down, so it’s not a fully polished piece. But that’s not the purpose of the exercise!

Your personality can be as colourful as your canvas. That was my excuse. That was what I told the bailiff, standing in the dock that hot July day in 1964. Colourful as your canvas, sir, yessir, I said. 

He looked at me like I was some kind of pond-dweller. You know what his colour was? Beige. No – grey. He’d never seen a splash of colour in his life.

Darcie, now she was an electric, catch-your-eye cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die fuschia. That’s right, fyoosha. Not, not fuk-sia, though you might think that’s how you say it. I knew her colour the moment she walked into my drugstore and asked for a raspberry lemonade. I knew it not from her eyes – which I can’t remember the colour of, but blue or brown what’s the difference, doesn’t tell you a thing – but from the way she walked. The swaying of her hips, like the pendulum on a big ol’ clock, like father time himself. The whole world swayed with those hips, I swear to you now. But it wasn’t just that – I’m not just a guy who likes hips, though that I do. It was more than that. The fuschia was coming right out of her. It was when she opened her mouth and rather than just asking for a raspberry lemonade, plain and simple like that, like any girl woulda, you know what she said?

It’s hot as a madam’s armpit in Saigon out there. 

And then she asked for the raspberry lemonade. 

Well, after that and after I knew she was fuschia, there was nothing I could do about it any more. Nothing I could do to stop myself. I knew right then and there that this girl was something special, and someone I would go to hell on a harley for. Cause my colour’s vermillion, you see. That’s right, vermillion. That might sound like a fancy word, but it’s important. It’s a kind of red, but not just any red, yessee. Vermillion. Feel it unrolling on your tongue. 

You know, people say red and pink don’t mix, but they’re wrong. Red and pink are energy. Red and pink set the world on fire. 

And they sure did with us.

Within a week Darcie and I were going together. First I took her to Old Man Joe’s, but then I realised that just wasn’t good enough for a fuschia like Darcy. Oh, she didn’t complain, not a bit – she enjoyed herself, I could see that, and I don’t think she thought twice about it. But that was the problem. I wanted her to think about it. A lot. I wanted to give her gold, platinum, emerald, sapphire. And Old Man Joe’s, well he’s Old Man Joe. Maybe a navy, if you’re lucky. 

The second week I took her to the Casino down by Springfield way. She bit her lip and asked if I could afford it and I just told her not to worry. It’s all about the red and black, I said. That was what I bet on – red and black. Colours are my people, I told her. But hell I don’t know what happened but the colours didn’t seem to be my friends that day. Maybe they were just intimidated by her fuschia.

So I tried the Grand Hotel. That’s a real fancy place, gold many times over. Darcie was sure impressed by that. We ate shrimp and steak and drank Old Fashioneds. I knew Darcie was mine for sure at the Grand.

After that I don’t know what happened. Maybe my vermillion wasn’t bright enough or something. Anyway, I took her to the casino again, and I lost again, but big this time. I lost so big I had to sell my Corvette. I lost so big I had them coming after me at the drugstore.

Darcie disappeared after that. Couldn’t find her fuschia anywhere. Maybe she wasn’t so fuschia after all. But I could swear she blinded me with that electric pink the moment she walked through the drugstore door asking for a raspberry lemonade.

That’s what I told the bailiff, yessee.

It’s just my personality yessee. Colourful as a canvas.