A man came up to me and said.
"Sky, it's purple."
I looked up at the sky. It was the clearest blue I had ever seen. Not a cloud in the sky. I looked at the gentleman next to me, standing there staring between two buildings at a piece of the sky to the south.
There was a large solid glass faced building between those buildings, down the street. It gave the buildings a slight reddish hue to their dark tones. But the sky between them, that small tall rectangular piece of sky he was staring into, was blue as blue could be.
I said: "Uh. Sure." He looked at me, reading something in the tone of my voice.
"It is isn't it? A beautiful purple. Never seen that before like that. Don't you agree."
I was caught. I could lie to a perfect stranger, let it go, and maybe he'd go away. He smelled slightly of something, I couldn't put my finger on it. Musty. Confused smells of stored clothing and cardamom maybe. Cardamom left too long in a cupboard.
"Well, the sky is blue as I've ever seen." He gave me an odd look of disdain. I felt a need to qualify my remark. "Those buildings, they have an odd color don't they? Kind of a purple color." He eyed me suspiciously. So I went on.
"Perhaps the sky and the buildings are playing tricks on your eyes?" I smiled at him, congenially. He reacted negatively to my comment, as if I'd called his being into question, as if I'd challenged his veracity, his sanity even.
"The sky is purple, I'm telling you. What we see is important, what we believe is more important. It speaks to who we are. I know. Yes. I know. You should know too."
What do you say to that? He was not happy, I could see beneath the surface, he was seething. I couldn't understand his passion, his adherence to his belief in a purple sky. I looked up. I looked up at the sky in such a way so as to invoke a desire in him to cast his gaze upward. But he continued looking straight ahead.
"That sky, is blue." I said this looking up above us, lifted my hand slightly to indicate the sky above.
"I've never seen a sky so purple," he said. He stared at the slice of sky framed by neo modern buildings and a super modern one beyond them, then looked over at me. As if daring me to disagree.
"Is there anything I can say to make you see that the sky is blue between those buildings?"
"Between the buildings? It's not purple just between the buildings." I looked up, back at him, between the buildings, up at the sky covering us, then back at him. He hadn't moved. I got the distinct feeling he may have had trauma to his neck, from the way he held himself. He wouldn't look up, or he couldn't look up. Something wasn't right.
"Purple, no doubt about it."
"I always liked purple." He smiled.
"It's a good color. The color of sky."
I glanced over between the buildings. The sky appeared purple. A cold sweat broke quickly over my skin, and then just as suddenly disappeared as I glanced upward and saw a very blue sky. I looked back between the buildings and now the sky was again blue as it had been, as it was. I looked him full in the face.
He smiled, nodded and just, walked off. There was a bounce in his step. As if he was happy. Or had achieved something worthy of pleasure.
I looked back up and then forward. Perplexed.
The sky was still blue.
Up next on Monday, August 8th, 2016: "Donald J. Trump's Big Con".