Dimitrios Katsis

Shades of Blue

Shades of blue

Waking up to the frightening realization of having forgotten the exact shade of the european flag blue, soon was he on his feet to the house of Europe. It was his first time there, this being apparently his first time forgetting the exact blue shade, and he found the setting overwhelming, not least because of the demonstration crowd assembling in the ground floor under the yells of their leaders. He could hardly comprehend the associate at the information desk, her voice interrupted by calls for migrant rights and freedom of choice competing in urgency with his request. His walking up the ramp soon to end up in the elevated european square created a well deserved distance from reality soon to be interrupted by a seemingly huge group of school pupils storming out of the library holding books in different shades of blue and interacting with the crowd below. In the library it was quiet, almost serene, and were he not agitated by not finding exactly what he looked for, he could have spent some time there reading the feuiletton of  the NZZ. Off he went though through the TV room annoyed at the sounds of languages unknown, his gaze unwillingly dancing on the screens. In the next room an exhibition was being set up; artists from the ateliers surrounding the space were moving their work, but were willing to contemplate the exact shade of european blue like an unsolved humanity mystery. They mixed him a blue worthy of Europe but not his satisfaction. A couple of rooms ahead he heard a group discussing, who could potentially have offered him an answer, were they not waiting for Godot. He climbed up the stairs to the terrace offering a view over the square, the marching crowd in the distance, people sipping coffee in the foreground. Some of them pointed him to the twentieth floor, where a team of graphic designers were working on the logo of a european equality initiative NGO setting up one floor below. They were in the middle of a meeting right there in the floor’s lounge with themes ranging from pastel colors to the feminist movement. He couldn’t care less for the latter, but had to patiently hear them talk before expressing his request. Not long was he there, before he was unexpectedly engaged in a discussion he didn’t want to take part in. Suddenly he had to deal with the friendliness of the people, who wanted to show him the 28th floor roof terrace as much as hearing his opinion on feminism and Europe. There he was, putting sentences together for a subject never crossing his mind before just to get the right shade of blue, being printed for him at the 21st floor color calibrated plotter. His quest came to an end, he walked down the stairs with a lightness unfitting his age glancing to the spaces past. Curious place, Europe. At home he would meticulously compare the printed with the painted shade under white light. There was a slight yet to a trained eye noticeable deviation. He would have to go back.