I am driving in my car towards downtown. Work. A family homeless shelter. A family housing agency.
My tires hiss along the pavement. November is unusually warm. What snow there was has disappeared.
I hear a line in a song, ‘from black to blue’. I do not know the song. I do not know the artist. I know the story.
An image flashes through my mind. Fast. Like a comet falling. A hand raised. A slap. A bruise. Sallow yellow. Just forming. Black to blue and fade. Back to black. Sallow yellow.
A woman. Black to blue and fade. Fading into sallow yellow. Fading into nothing.
A man. A woman. Anger. Flash. Black to blue and fade. Nothing.
It goes on. And on.
A man. A woman. Anger. Flash. Hand. Slap. Sallow yellow. Black to blue and fade. And nothing.
The woman falls. She rises up. Smiles. Cajoling. Encouraging.
The man rises up. Hand raised. Pain. Cry. Sallow yellow heating up to orange. Red. Black to blue and back again. Fade to black.
A body. Lying. Cold. Still breathing.
She smiles through the pain. The ambulance jolts into gear. She is carried away. Away from black to blue.
He loves me, she says.
Love doesn’t hurt like this, someone answers in the darkness.
She cannot hear.
He didn’t mean to do it. It was an accident. She insists.
And their voices fade from black to blue into nothing.
She grows silent.
And goes back.
Not for more. Never for more.
He won’t do it again.
There’s always the promise of never again after black fades to blue to sallow yellow into nothing. Always the promise of never more fading away at the edge of happily ever after.
It is promise of what could be without black fading to blue to sallow yellow to nothing.
And the cycle turns and the pain continues and the fear rises and black to blue fades deeper and deeper into unending black. Deeper into that dark space where blackness lives in memory blocked of any colour beyond black to blue. Beyond that place where truth lies. Where life fades
from black to blue
to constant sallow yellow
rising once again
black and blue
November is Family Violence Prevention month.
This piece wrote itself after hearing the line, “from black to blue” in a song playing on my car radio.
I share it today in honour of those who have/ have not/ cannot/ did not/ will never / get away / from black to blue.
Domestic violence is a family affair. We can all help end it. It begins with not staying silent. It begins with education. It begins with you and me.