Monday, October 31, 2011


There is no beautifier of complexion or form of behavior like the wish to scatter joy around us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hello Lily
I'm red.

I guess I have always been a misfit, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, as far as the "normal people" are concerned. I'm called unusual, eccentric, paradoxical, bizarre. "That DB is weird."

I'm what they used to call a "nonconformist" especially when it comes to holidays. I almost never send out Christmas cards. One year I tried making my own. They were a disaster. I won't do that again. The only time I marched in a 4th of July parade I stopped the parade by getting the American flag caught in a tree. I spent one New Years Eve in Times Square. I never did that again even though I lived a few blocks away from it for 20 years. And I certainly don't go tricking or treating on Halloween, and never did as far as I can remember.

But a few decades ago I went to a Halloween party. Well, I didn't actually go to it. It came to me. I had been out of town doing a show and arrived back the day before Halloween to discover that my girl friend had planned a party and had invited a lot of people. It was too late for me to find any sort of costume, so I thought I would just make myself absent until the next day. But she insisted she wanted me at the party.

She had some bright red, shiny, material that she was never going to use, so she made some quick measurements of me, cut up the cloth, sat down at her sewing machine and made some trousers and a pull over shirt. It was a terrible fit, but it was temporary clothing anyway so it didn't matter. I had my make up case with me so I dug out the rouge and painted my face and my hands red. She found a red knit cap in her closet and put it on my head. We couldn't find any red socks, alas, and the red shoes (those ruby shoes) were still with Dorothy in Kansas as far as we knew. So from head to almost toe I was "Red."

Many people showed up at the party in all sorts of costumes, angels, ghosts, fairies, TV and cartoon characters. At first I was getting a lot of strange remarks. "Who are you?" "I'm red." Or "Are you supposed to be the devil?" "No, I'm red." Or "Red who?" "Just red." Or "You mean you're the color red?" "Yes. I'm red. Can't you tell?"

The food was being eaten, the beer and tequila flowed and folks were having a jolly time. Soon people got used to me and enjoyed the disguise. "Hey Red, you want another beer?"

After that I thought why not. Why do you have to dress up as some sort of humanoid. Why not come as a refrigerator or a tree, or a bass violin or a ballet slipper. Or a color.

Those who live outside the spectrum of the expected, the ordinary, the normal, the traditional, often see things others can't see.

The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
At the top most twig that looks up at the sky.

(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
(Thank you Sue)

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

What event over the past year changed your life, a lot or a little?

Only 5 answers so far.

I eagerly await your answers.


Sue said...


You are welcome. And I do not consider "misfit" a bad word.


Rose said...

I have always hated Halloween!

pacifica62 said...

Who cares what the rest of the world thinks? I might be considered a misfit in their world, but I am certainly normal in my world. Each of us is different and unique and there are no cookie cutter clones. We decide what is "normal" for us based on our beliefs and experiences. We don't need to fit into little slots and be categorized according to our degree of "conformity". On whose standard do we base normal anyways?

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Love the idea of just being a color. I think I would be green.