Flashbacks in colour

Spencer pours another whisky. It leaps up the side of the glass, pitching over the edge and trickling down his hand. His clean hand. His neat, manicured hand. There was a time its flesh was seldom seen, when he could move through days and nights without pause, his skin an extension of each worked canvas, its colour echoing progress – Prussian Blue, Viridian, Indian Red, Mars Violet, Ivory Black. Always ivory black.

Those colours no longer grace palette or skin.

Those colours belong to another time.

He stands behind the glass of the locked door and watches the movement of others. Holidaymakers propelled by forced jollity from shop to shop, activity to activity, meal to meal, weighed down with bags of beach hut aesthetics compulsively acquired for an urban setting. The wrong shades, the wrong light. They’ll never understand beauty as context, arrangement, balance, harmony. Year upon year they will remove pretty pebbles from the beach only to later wonder how their beauty expired.