: The Color of Rosa Luxemburg :

an excerpt by Mika Seifert

 

James Carl Francis Peabody, on a plane from New York to London, leaning against a window:

 

I have written a book. It is neither a long book, nor a short one. In fact, I can assure you that it has just the right amount of pages, and on each page the right amount of words.

The plot is quickly told, but let us talk of colors first, because colors have always been important to me, you see. That was a gift I've always had—a talent, if you will. I was always able to tell, very accurately, the color of anything. That is my talent. The color of the wind at any given moment, for instance. You would be surprised, it varies a great deal. The color of certain moods, too. Did you know that moods are one of the most volatile elements, color-wise speaking? It's true; take jealousy for example.  Jealousy is often a very fierce yellow (no surprises there), but in the next person suddenly it will be an earthy brown color. Rage isn't always black either, as one might assume. I have encountered white rage, green rage, even blue rage. One time, I swear the rage even had a pinkish hue to it. It very much caught me by surprise.

And here is another little-known fact: the sun isn't yellow. It is a kind of rainbow, with a warm amber tone at the top, which then slowly passes over into all the other colors known to man, except for black and brown and a few obscure green tones, but they are in fact so obscure that we can discard them without remorse. No one has ever seen them.