R.F. Mechelke

A Kaleidoscope of Color

At the stroke of nine, the walls begin to vibrate with static electricity radiated by people brushing and dancing against each other in my apartment. My friends love its coziness and charming dedication to a stylish vintage period. I have striven to emulate the tastes of others for so long I have nearly convinced myself I like what they like, wondering how all of us can appreciate the same things in the exact same way. 

They come bearing their grandiose versions of their newest dishes, with eclectic bottles of wine meant only for the most discriminating of palates, and always hard to find. We compliment each other on our brilliance and walk away with envy gnawing at our insides. 

The light from my smart bulbs are set to match the mood at the moment, a mauve pink, a welcoming color of gaiety, and as the night goes by, they shimmer yellow to match the level of glee and intoxication on drink, on talk, on song, and on love. We talk about films and books. We talk about art. We sing about the pleasure of city life. And we toast to our love of each other. But what we are really toasting is the idea of us. The smooth, relaxed way we shine in each other’s presence, living such astounding lives. We don our crowns with authoritative musings on how others must envy us.

Every corner, every little space is filled with people, holding long-stemmed glasses, as dopamine cascades from our brains to our eyes and lips, hands and feet, with faces awash in purple delight. We are a kaleidoscope of color and action. We are a dance and song of our own making. This is the place to be, in Logan Square. 

In the kitchen, the cabinets are open, a colander rests on the counter, and a voice rises above the fray pleading for the WiFi password for a MacBook Air glowing with anticipation. Connection achieved, and the kitchen ignites with activity. Before long, a new aroma wafts down the short and narrow hall, through the living room, into the bedroom, out onto the fire escape, down the steps, turning heads. 

We all gather in the kitchen enjoying a new concoction of freshness and air, with bare arms covered with blue haze. The MacBook is perched on the colander as we watch the Total Eclipse of the Heart YouTube parody. The clock strikes midnight, still too soon to sigh, plenty of time. 

The room shimmers again, and we are bathed in violet rush. I turn to pour sanguine liquid into the crystal vessel my lover grasps lightly, approvingly. We smile at each other, and I look away from the strangers we call our friends.

© R. F. Mechelke

R.F. Mechelke is a nominee for The Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories series. He holds a B.S. from Marquette University and a Masters from Cardinal Stritch University. He was born and raised in Florida, and now lives in the Chicago area. His short stories have appeared in the Blue Lake Review, Loch Raven Review, Sci Phi Journal, Lowestoft Chronicle, MoonPark Review and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @RFMechelke. www.RFMechelke.com

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