every city tells a story……..

Pink and Brown

The wide pink stripe down the arm of my brown running jacket was actually flattering but it wasn’t until I left it on the side of the road at Disney World that I could finally see it.   I never quite liked the jacket for other reasons, never gave it a proper chance.   For starters, the arms were a bit too short for mine which are, I readily admit, atypically long.   More to the point, however was that the fabric felt “funny” which is a euphemism for the plastic-y feel of inexpensive polyester.   But pink and brown it was and as they were the colors of my logo and it was a gift of my then good friend, I kept it.

It hung on the wall with my other running jackets, but it was rarely if ever selected.  My conviction was to make pink and brown my signature colors, like the golden arches of McDonald’s or the pale blue box of Tiffany’s or the glowing white ring of blond hair on Marilyn Monroe.  JD Beltran, a local art star is all about the black and blue: her glasses, her house, her car, and somehow it works for her.  I know it does.  I have seen it.   But I never wanted the slick feel of that fabric near my skin.  Was it fear of success?

For my half marathon in Denver, being cold was my worry du jour.   My anxiety alit on my fear of being cold like a butterfly to a flower.   I bought little black gloves for race day as if I planned to attend a punk rock prom.    The pink and brown jacket was taken for warmth, imagining how I would toss it halfway when the bright sun of the day rendered it unnecessary.  But on my test run the day before, I discovered that temperatures in the 40’s are in fact my perfect racing weather,  so the jacket was left neatly folded on the hotel room bed.  My pink and brown friend returned home. the valiant warrior, once more to dangle from the hook in the hall.

In a gesture of solidarity with my signature colors, I designed boxes of pink and brown shortbread for my clients because pink and brown makes me think of sugar and spice and everything nice.   But the name of my company remained hard to say on the telephone, and when I changed to the initials, it became a meaningless abstraction.  One day,  I started reaching for something turquoise instead and knew a change was on the way.   The pale turquoise matches my eyes and reminds me of clear glass or the Gulf Waters.  I decided to change my firm name to Donna Schumacher Architecture.  Yes, that felt right.

For my first 5K at Thanksgiving, I left the jacket under the shade of a tree before the race started, testing fate to make the decision.  If it was sitting there when I returned, I would take it back.  When I found it stubbornly not picked up by volunteers for charity or better yet stolen, I kept my promise.

The friend that gave me that jacket had a change of heart about our friendship and quicker than I would ever know how, she pulled away and stopped calling back.  I decided to take a lesson from her conviction.   I packed my pink and brown jacket one more time, this time for Disney.   My anticipation was to leave it at the side of the road on that first morning but when I realized I had another cold 4AM wake up call to face alone in the dark with no space jacket to warm me, I left it on.  The second day, the race this time was the full marathon.   I had hours to prevaricate, to take it off, then back on again and off again until finally I stopped for a moment.  With a breath, draping it over the fence, I said goodbye.  Turning away, it was gone. I had a race to run.

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