the blue man.

Woman With Red Nails Painting Green Stripe on Canvas
by Alicia Zinn

She grabs her paintbrush and dips it in the indigo hue. Her eyes, once so warm and lively, are drawn to the swiveling, changing shade of the blue. “Dear, that’s too much,” I say, but she continues to soak the brush. I remind her three times. “Dear, why are you not well?”

She watches the fountain pen I hold in my hand, its tip hanging from the paper I’m writing in, and say, “You’re staining the paper. Look closely.” I look down at the paper and there it is, the drops of black ink. I sweep it off the paper, but it creates dark smudges. It looks—is—ugly and inappropriate. “I must get a new one.”

“Why should you? You can still use the blank space at the back.”

“I’ve already ruined it. It’s dirty, anyway,” I say. “Dear, what’s wrong?” I open the wooden drawer beside me. I pick up the last piece of brownish paper. I haven’t cleaned the cabinet, I notice, but tomorrow, I will. “Ah, I must get another set.” Of papers and maybe a new cabinet. I look up to her and ask her again. “Are you mad?”

The bristles of her brush darken as the blue color coats each strand. It begins to appear black and it’s horrible. “Dear, that’s too strong.” She looks at me, with tears and sadness and loss in her eyes, and say, “How come you could notice the change in the color?”

“You can see it from here and…”

“Why do you care for the bristles and the colors that much? Such a mystery,” she says. She plunges her brush into the cup of water beside her canvas. She grabs the wet rug and rubs off the excess paint on her hands. She does it until her skin becomes red and I ask her, “what’s wrong? Are you mad?”

She continues to scrub her skin with the rug. I take a glimpse of her painting that looks like a figure—a man—painted in all shades of blue except for his white pair of eyes. Since she doesn’t reply that much, I continue writing a letter for my lovely wife.


Thank you for reading this story. If you want to talk about random things with me, do not hesitate to reach me through my “Contact” page. All the best love, my dear.


let me hold your words before you leave;

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