He wasn’t born by the sea and he had never lived by it but its rhythms and hues were in his blood. Island national, island man, man as an island; it seems he was bound to love blue. Bound to be blue; if you insisted on Jungian analysis, you would see that he bled it, though admittedly tinged with green.
Most if not all of a few of his favourite things were blue. Blue ’trane, blue valentine, blue note. Blue Stilton, blue skies, the deep blue sea. World of blue, kind of blue, true blue. Swimming pool blue, blue and grey shirt, the story of the blues. Devil in a blue dress, blue light ’til dawn, blue remembered hills. Blue Monday, Ultramarine, aquamarine. The list went on. Blue overall. Blue over all. Part lament, part lull, part hymn, part playful game; he had sung blues and blue moods from the window of a speeding Mini, and several times while riding saddleless on a Blue Star Arabian. ‘So in a self-portrait in fifty shades of blue, and in this moment of weakness, I’m a-showin’ it to you.’
On working days he would take a walk and spend time with the sky-mirroring sea, whispering his stories to it, skimming them as stones to sink, or dive and swim like fish around the mainland upriver to resting points, just as inversely rain would wash from slopes into streams and so return to the blue of the sea. One week he swam in warmer seas than those that surrounded his island; seas whose shades of summer blue were deeper than those at home. With the tide at ebb and the water brushing the sand with the pulse of a standard played lugubriously at two in the morning, he listened to his breath and imagined his lungs expanding and his heart growing stronger. Naturally his trunks were blue.
Every day he quested further, at right angles to the sea’s undulations. There was always more, a little further, it never ended. He didn’t have a destination, only a reason. ‘I found a reason’; the Velvets at their blue-happiest. Blue velvet. Isabella Rossellini. ‘She wore blue velvet…’ Slow and stately the song played in his head as his arms parted the water. He made a medley of songs and strokes – breast, front, looking blue skyward, and even butterfly. Blue moon, world of blue, tangled up in blue. With every metre his mind felt emptier, not quite so prone to the raw, jagged edge of anxiety. This mixture of shades and strokes and songs might save him, might just be enough to. His shoulders and upper arms seemed to be swelling daily with the regular swimming. He was going to pull himself through the blue, never forgetting what he had felt before it surrounded him, never forgetting that he had had a reason, and that he had one still.