The Green Pencil


    I remember it seemed unnaturally bright the last day I worked; and that it was the day after I used the green pencil. In the months prior to my bipolar diagnosis, life became progressively more surreal and took on the raw, vibrating quality of a Keith Haring painting.

    There were endless new thoughts to think, emotions to feel and realities to ponder. It kept me up nights. Sleep became life’s whipped cream; sweet, but entirely unnecessary. 

     I took up drawing with a vengeance. I poured all my thoughts out on paper and the confusion came out as waves of color. New and old demons started to appear in my drawings; demons I thought long since exorcized. Rainbows of emotion. Rainbows without green, green was evil.    

    The day I drew the green woman I knew something had changed. I was shaking. And shaken.

    At the time I knew my life was spiraling; but not that I was so close to total chaos. I was like a juggler trying to defy gravity with just one more ball - Always just one more ball. The longer I kept them all in the air the more convinced I was that I could keep juggling, forever. Inevitably gravity won, the balls fell, and I used the green pencil.

    I never did work after that day but I have come to terms with the color green. Although even after seven years the world still seems unnaturally bright.

© January 2005 All material is the sole property of the author and my not be reproduced without written permission.


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