in thirteen years (part 2/2)

In thirteen years, there will be a new fad: love languages expressed through colored collars:

red orange yellow green blue / gift touch time praise deed.

on may 3rd: the one red flower a poor man presents to his love will blossom redder and deeper than any rich man's ruby or louboutin lacquer. this is a lesson many lovers are learning, with their mouths as well as blood. children too, birthday money is all the more luckied by a red envelope.

on may 7th: the catcallers will grow savvy and target green girls—many literally green. but all girls know to avoid the uncollared. some men bluff with a collar, but others dig deep into their soul to match a color to it. this is a process of weeks, of months, of years. by the time they finish, some no longer feel the need to catcall. see, that boy with the yellow ascot wanted boys all along. the boy in the green tie smiles if you shout, “hey handsome!”

on may 15th: "how may i help you?" becomes blue*blue shortland for I love you so. they establish a barter economy, owed actions with no need for money. all is free, all is favors. it works so well that of course someone corrupts it. faux-blues take and are given but never return. this leakage is the first of many weaknesses

on june 27th: the yellow chokers must confront the lie of 'busyness'. they require reasons on digital signatures, on job applications, in interviews, anywhere. they give away calendar slots like kisses: rarely and deeply. the yellow chokers can’t stand lateness. they need proof. they want to know: Am I really important to you? If I were, you’d find a way. Put down your phone. Look at me. Is this the highest quality time you have to give? even silence is fine.

on july 11th: I will go on a date wearing orange and blue-striped-yellow. I hate green now. my second favorite color has been claimed and stolen, because talk is cheap. I burned many, tore them for dishrags, gave them to thrift stores.

friends ask me do you really like hugs? I guess i do. I have to, until it becomes the color of horny men. I feel their leers. they want to brush and tap and stroke and say I want that. so no, I hate orange and cull my closet. I pick a calming yellow boy i have to verbally remind that, yes, in bed, he can touch my hair.

july 11th: my boy, like me, is blue sometimes. sometimes wilted but always functional, we give each other practical presence and practical presents, blue/red and blue/gold. his large hands bear chocolate, comfort, hope, witness, all favors—everything that serves me serves him. or so he says, and I reflect that wisdom, souvenir, a task, all favors. his body’s continuity is for me a good deed.

on july 25th: we will all wear red and green. we ride sleighs through snowless grasslands, wield hammers and sickles to topple typants and bestow solidarity. labor and laughter, we drink and make merry. nobody remains still tonight. love is a compromise. everyone needs magis’ gift, white elephants and pink elephants. when we wake up, hungover, income inequality will be solved. but some will immediately jump to rebuild financial hills and valleys to stand on and gaze upon.

by august 10th, the fad will die down. Everyone is tired of caring and knowing, of the weight of kindness beyond Dunbar’s village. Let’s have a new Turning. It’s about time. Let the children uncover what their parents obscure and veil what their parents revealed, in rebellion.

heaven's reward fallacy

God doesn't like that celebrity you dislike

God is just

God's likes are equal to ten thousand likes or a hundred thousand whatever it takes to make you happy

God ignores your ex for you

God likes everything your best friend has ever posted online

God gives and takes away

God let your parents spank you and let your mother miscarry after you

God helped you find those family photos in the attic that one time and the memories just came flooding back

God likes how skillfully you describe the innocence of your childhood of social media

God wants you to get that raise

God sees how well you tip

God watches you eat local

God loves how you love animals

God knows the wallet was empty when you found it

God knows you didn't mean to hit her that hard

God believed you first

God let your abuser get off scot-free because it’s good for you

God will have him crash while drunk driving and he will post a selfie from the emergency room but he won't die yet (it will be liver failure)

God knows when you will die of breast cancer, that you will die of breast cancer you are unknowingly attracted to pink ribbon merchandise

God loves you back

God is busy watching sports

God has a favorite team and it’s the same as yours which is the same as your dad's

God wants you to get that energy drink caught in the vending machine it's meant to be yours

God lines up the green lights just perfect for you to catch the bus on that one day for that crucial interview Thank God! you say once for yourself and once to the interviewer

God loves praise

God is like you in that way

God gave you DD boobs but didn’t make you blonde you made yourself blonde and you took selfies at the salon you took selfies at the gym

God loves every face you made

God made Candace blonde

God gave Candace parents that gave her a BMW in high school and a Porsche in college there she goes tagging herself in her family's cabin #ilovemylife

God hates Candace as much you do there is no Fuck You button on Instagram but your fingers are like God's as you ignore her but one day yes one day someday eventually... and you can’t wait until the afterlife

in thirteen years (part 1/2)

In thirteen years, there will be a new fad: love languages expressed through colored collars: red orange yellow green blue / gift touch time praise deed. On February 10th, the fad will begin--quietly, on blacktwitter or fairykeitumblr or youngartistinstagram or somewhere else that will never receive credit. Some raver kids of color who are into wholesome memes and celebrating each other will craft them out of kandi. A post will go viral, and the community that follows the bright young lives these kids express through photograph will adopt their trend in their own cities.

On February 19th, a bullied eighth grader reads a silly manga online and decides to test the world in a leap of faith in humanity. She dresses in all orange, collar included, arms himself with a 'Free Hugs' sign, and skips school for a bus ride downtown. The bus driver is a twenty-something with an orange collar, and she is just the first. No one asks why she's not in school. They just hug her. Someone buys her a meal (blue, though). At some point, she works up the courage to raise, and use, her sign on a busy street. At some point, she start crying and doesn't care because it's a good kind of cry, carthartic and joy-tinged. Kids get out of school and even her own neglectful classmates run to hug her. It becomes a minor news story, but only the young understand the significance of her coloring.

On February 23, a group of five high schoolers will go to a barlike restaurant (it must kick them out at 10pm) to exchange compliments. They all wear green collars, of course, and they all agree it would be fun. They talk like many youth do in that tone of sincerity that is played up to the point of laughing at itself. But they're still sincere, wearing their favorite outfits, having pre-gamed before if with access to alcohol, pretending to grow drunk on sodas, improvising talents, and praising and praising and praising each other. It feels good every time. Some of their dates are present, some of their dates are more masculine, less emotional, and without collar. They complain: it's a circlejerk taco party. One of their dates is masculine but emotional and says what's working with circlejerk? An ego feast? A lot of what they say is true as long as they believe it. He asks some the dates if they know their colors, because obviously they aren't being fed by this.

By March 3rd, everyone at a small southwestern grocery chain store will have a color. The clerks will have a system of tapping in or out based on customer reputations: here is the customer that loves to take his sweet time and you're the most patient, aren't you? or here is that customer who always needs help and you love to help, don't you? or here is that customer who loves to flirt, so let me handle her! On breaks, the ones who can, smoke as they all chat. There is an ongoing debate on whether listening to someone vent counts giving quality time, providing words of affirmation, or performing emotional labor. This blue green or yellow? one says. Why not all of them? So the topic switches to multicolor collars. 

On March 7th: An instafamous celebrity displays a red collar with the tag #diamondsareagirlsbestfriend. An indie artist with a semi-popular Etsy specializing in 8bit kandi sprites immediately starts tagging her color collars with the celebrity's name. Of course it takes off. An aspiring journalist and part-time political astroturfer drafts up pitches the very hour, hoping to be the first to explain the trend to adults.

By March 26th, even preschoolers are wearing them. There is a whole class whose eager clamours convinced a teacher to begin the day with color collar activities. They learn colors and matching actions: sharing on red day, hugging on orange, helping on blue, and complimenting on green. Every day together is a yellow day, their teachers says. They are too young to know their favorite love language, and so most tend towards the rainbow collars popularized by Target.

On April 11th, two private school buddies hatch a plot to wear all yellow until their parents notice. Their parents do not wear colors, but the friends concluded that they are all red due to rough upbringings. But who wants to be a lawyer or banker, just to make money? Who wants another dumb car? They loiter together, dressed down and skating on the hills by the beach, drinking slurpees with the same straw, lying in the park grass and conjugating new cuss words. They notice the green on the poet at an open mic, and cheer extra loud, bang the table. They notice the blue of the young mom pulling a personal shopping cart uphill and convince her to give some weight away to their healthy young bodies. They notice the red of a sticky toddler wandering too far from her cousin's birthday party, and they stick a roll of twenties in her back romper pocket with hushed giggles. The toddler dives for the first drops of candy when the cousin's pinata receives its first rupturing crack, and the two private school buddies laugh at the cuteness of greed in such a tiny little body.