Excerpts from Mary Ruefle’s Beyond Sunset*, chopped up and taken out of context.
Blue sadness is sweetness cut into strips with scissors and then into little pieces by a knife, it is the sadness of reverie and nostalgia.
Gray sadness is the sadness of paper clips and rubber bands, of rain and squirrels and chewing gum, ointments and unguents and movie theatres. Gray sadness is…the sadness of keys in a pocket, cans on a shelf, hair in a comb, dry-cleaning, and raisins.
Pink sadness is the sadness of white anchovies. It is the sadness of deprivation, of going without…the sadness of having the sole come off your only pair of shoes, of your favourite pair of shoes…it is the sadness of shame when you have done nothing wrong…pink sadness is not your fault…
Red sadness is the secret one. …it is an upside-down penny concealed beneath a tea cosy, the even tempered and steady-minded are not exempt from it…
* From Granta 128: American Wild, 162-165